February 12, 2015 at 2:01 p.m.

Greene and Selbitschka reach 1,000 point mark in same week

Greene and Selbitschka reach 1,000 point mark in same week
Greene and Selbitschka reach 1,000 point mark in same week

When Sarah Greene and Courtney Selbitschka take the basketball court, there’s always a chance for scoring fireworks.

Greene is a non-stop scrapper with a high motor who scores points any which way she can playing for Chisago Lakes.

Selbitschka is a bit more of a finesse player, using sleek drives and pull up jumpers in her repertoire to score her baskets.

Despite their differences as  players, the two have always been linked as premier players for the two premier Chisago County basketball programs. And now they will be linked in another way, both Selbitschka, a junior, and Greene, a senior, scored their 1,000th career points last week.

Greene got her point on a typical play. She bulled her way inside for position on an offensive rebound and after grabbing it, got the putback to go in, which put her at exactly 1,000 points.

Selbitschka, in contrast, got hers in one of her favorite ways. She drove the lane at the end of a fast break and put up a tough shot over a defender who fouled her. She got the basket to go and the foul to boot.

The two have followed different career paths up to this point. Selbitschka has been one of North Branch’s top scorers for the past few years. She broke into the lineup at an early age and has been a mainstay and focal point since.

Greene has always played in the shadow of two Division 1 recruits that were a bit older. Whitney Tinjum was a senior when Greene began her career as a ninth grader, and Bryanna Fernstrom, now an Iowa State Cyclone, just graduated last year, paving the way for more scoring opportunities for Greene.

They both excelled in other sports. Selbitschka is a very accomplished volleyball player and nearly led the Lady Vikings to a state tournament berth this fall while Greene was All-Mississippi 8 cross country runner and track performer for CL. “I think being successful in volleyball has really helped my basketball career,” Selbitschka said. “It helps you deal with situations and keep your composure.”

Greene recalls the beginning of her varsity career in ninth grade. She got a chance to play late in a blowout win. After she logged about a minute before the game ended, senior-at-the-time Zoe Hansen pulled her aside and said, “Get used to this Sarah, you’re going to be playing varsity a lot.”

“I never thought about scoring 1,000 points, though,” Greene said. “I just went out and played basketball and played my game.”

Greene said she was aided along the way by her coaches, who always pushed her, including Head Coach Craig Walker and Assistant Coach Wanda Trochman. She also pointed to her teammates and how hard they work in practice. And finally, she appreciated the sacrifices her parents have made to bus her to basketball events all the time and for always supporting her.

Although the senior has hit a lot of buckets in her career, she said he first reverse lay up is the most memorable one. “It was one of the first games of my junior year. I had worked on reverse lay ups in practice but I didn’t actually think they would work in a game,” she said. “But when it did, I was like ‘Woah, that worked.’”

The basket to get to 1,000 points came early in the Wildcats win over Monticello Thursday, February 5. She came into the game with 998 points so Walker designed some early plays for Greene.

Her first shot of the game went around the rim multiple times before coming out of the basket. However, she wouldn’t be denied on her second attempt, pulling down the offensive board and putting it back. “There was a little pressure to get it done,” she said. “It was only two points coming in and that shot around the rim was tough. But then I just had to remind myself that it was only basketball.”

Greene knows she going to play college basketball, but she isn’t sure where yet. She’s whittled her list down to two colleges, St. Olaf’s in Northfield, MN and Washington University in St. Louis, MO.  She said whichever school she decides on is going to get a player that brings energy, plays tough defense and will have a great mentality, no matter the results of the games.

Greene knew that Selbitschka had hit her 1,000 point mark earlier in the week, and she was happy to see her accomplish it. “Honestly, Courtney is the most fun to play against,” Greene said glowingly. “She’s a great athlete and she just wants to win, and those ones are the best to play.”

Selbitschka returned the volley towards Greene, saying “Sarah is a very good ball player and I’m not surprised she got to 1,000 points,” the Lady Vike said. “She’s been a struggle to guard over the years and she is very good at what she does. She’s an all around fantastic basketball player and is always fun to play against.”
Selbitschka’s quest to 1,000 has been at a quicker pace, as she is just midway through her junior year. She never imagined that 1,000 points was within her reach, especially as a junior. “I just never really though about it,” she said.

Selbitschka is grateful for the players and the coaches around her that have helped her hit the milestone. “I owe a lot to my teammates, graduated and current,” she said. “I also owe it to [retired longtime girls basketball coach] Schindler, who pulled me up to varsity and believed in me and Coach Huselid who carries that belief on.”

Selbitschka even invited Schindler, who is now the Activities Director at Chatfield, to the game that she scored her 1,000th point in. The former coach was able to be there and it made the special moment even better for Selbitschka.

It took her 10 points in the Vikings contest against Rogers on Tuesday, February 3 to get to the mark, but she got there fairly quickly. “It was a relief to get there.  With having Schindler come back for the game, I wanted to get it for him and I thought it’d be special for him to see.”

The basket came in typical Selbitschka fashion. She brought the ball up the court and as the defense was still setting themselves, she saw an opening and darted to her right, blowing past a defender. As the help came over, she took an underhand scoop shot around the help defense and banked it off the glass as the defender fouled her.

Selbitschka’s favorite basket along the was of the long range variety. She said it was a three pointer in the section semi-finals last year against Grand Rapids with her team down six with two minutes left. “We didn’t go on to win the game, but after that shot, we all looked around at each other like we had a shot to win the thing!”

As a junior, Selbitschka still has a lot of high school basketball in front of her, and she’s aiming high in the time she has left. “We just want to keep working hard and play together,” she said. We still want to go to the state tournament this year, and I think we can do it.”

When asked about another personal record, the individual scoring mark, which sits in the mid-1,600s, Selbitschka just said “It’s a possibility, but for now, I just want to play good basketball.”

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