Consistency separates the average players from the good players.
Pine River-Backus’ Rylie Hirschey showed consistency last week when she scored 17 or more points in three straight games -- all wins for the Tigers.
The junior guard scored 17 points in a win over Sebeka, followed up by a 19-point effort in a win against Pequot Lakes. The next night, Hirschey tallied 17 points again against Menahga as PR-B picked up its fourth win in a row.
“They were all tough teams,” Hirschey said. “So we just went in with the mindset that we had to play our game and play tough. I just kept an aggressive mindset the whole time. My teammates kept giving me good passes and created a lot of opportunities for me to score.”
PR-B head coach Randy Schwegel said it was nice to see Hirschey step up, especially battling recent struggles scoring.
“She is going to have to score for us to be successful,” Schwegel said. “It was good to see her step up and do that. She is totally capable of it. She just had a little bit of a slow start and she is coming on now the way we kind of expected her to put the ball in the hoop. It was kind of the highlight of the week to see her start putting up more points.
“It never changed the confidence I had in her. I know what she is capable of doing It’s just good to see her doing it.”
Hirschey said she never loses confidence in herself even if the shots are not falling every game.
PR-B is a small team. Any chance it gets to push the ball in transition and get fastbreak baskets it will. Hirschey likes this style of play.
“It’s a lot harder to score when we don’t push the ball,” Hirschey said. “So when any of us get the ball we have that mindset of pushing the ball up the floor.”
Hirschey is no stranger to being a leader. She was the setter for the PR-B volleyball team that enjoyed a successful season. Now, in the winter, she is the point guard and floor general of the basketball team.
Getting the production out of the point guard position is something Schwegel considers a luxury.
“She gets out on the break and gets some easy baskets that way,” Schwegel said. “She also finds the open girl in the open floor. She can also put it on the floor in a half-court setting and get key baskets that way.”
Schwegel thinks it is Hirschey’s shooting ability that sets her apart from the rest. She is a smart player that Schwegel trusts because she has experience and knows the game.
The improvements Schwegel has seen is her ability to shoot. He sees her work on it tirelessly after practice. He feels she gets her shot off quicker than before. Schwegel also noticed improvements in her drive and attack game. It’s something she got better at last year, but took it to another level this year.
“I am sure she leads the team in assists, too,” Schwegel said. “Teams are concerned about her scoring ability so when teams come out on her she is able to find that open person and make that extra pass.”
Hirschey feels she used to be hesitant, but has learned her role more.
Hirschey’s favorite spots on the floor are the baseline and the corner 3-point shot. She thinks when she drives baseline it opens things for Tigers’ center Ramsey Tulenchik.
Hirschey’s strongest attribute on the court is her mindset she said. It’s not just her either, Hirschey says the whole team has a healthy mindset and wants to be leaders on the court.
“I know that is a role that is very important on the team,” Hirschey said of being a leader. “So, I kind of take it upon myself to make sure that I am a leader. I think part of that is supporting my teammates.”
Other notable performances:
Basketball: Haley Cichos, Staples-Motley, scored 22 points against Detroit Lakes and 22 against Verndale.
Melissa Hammer, Verndale, scored 20 points against Staples-Motley.
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.
School: Pine River-Backus
Highlights: Finished with three games in double figures last week including 17 against Sebeka, 19 against Pequot Lakes and 17 against Menahga. All Tiger wins.