Two years ago Red Wing guard Tesha Buck punched an opponent during a game. A suspension followed, but the toughest thing Buck has had to deal with has been the damage to her reputation.
Opposing fans taunt her at every opportunity. Opponents often try to get her to melt down, hoping it affects her play.
Buck, an immensely skilled 6-foot guard who has signed with Wisconsin-Green Bay, said she’s a better player because of what she has endured.
“It’s actually helped me mentally and physically,” said Buck, averaging 23.4 points before the Class 3A state tournament. “I can’t change what happened or people’s opinions, but it’s made me stronger. I expect that people are going to remember. But I can handle it.”
The support of teammates and Red Wing fans has helped Buck put the issue in her past.
“I found out how many people had my back,” said Buck as the Red Wing band filed past her, many members patting her on the back as they went by. “It helped so much to know how many people supported me.
In a three-point zone
A milestone pass in the first Class 1A quarterfinal started a record-tying shooting afternoon. Upsala senior guard Aimee Pelzer got her 1,000th assist on Kaelin Smieja’s three-pointer early in Thursday’s loss to Bethlehem Academy of Faribault at Williams Arena. Smieja, a junior forward, was just getting started. She finished with seven three-pointers to tie a state tournament record and match her season total going into the game.
“A bench player coming out in this big of an atmosphere and doing that is unbelievable,” Upsala coach Paul Pelzer said.
Aimee, his daughter, finished her career with 2,606 career points and 1,006 assists.
David La Vaque
Strong final four in 2A
The four teams in Friday’s Class 2A semifinals have a combined 12 losses this season. Braham (31-0) is the only unbeaten. The other three are New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva (30-1), Providence Academy (25-4) and Minneapolis Washburn (23-7).
None of those 12 losses have come against another 2A school. Ten were to Class 4A teams, and the other two to Class 3A teams.