January 12, 2017 at 2:30 p.m.
Carmen Backes clearly has the talent to set records for the Chisago Lakes girls basketball team.
She won’t be able to reach many of the lofty career milestones that Whitney Tinjum set because she missed most of last year with an injury. But, single game records, especially of the scoring variety, are in play every time she steps on the court.
And she fell just one shy of the single game scoring record when the Wildcats took on county rival North Branch on Thursday, January 5.
Backes had a bit of a slow start as North Branch was shooting lights out in the first half, forcing the ‘Cats into a bit more of a pressure situation than they would’ve liked. A 10-0 run to end the first half put the Wildcats up for good, and it allowed them to relax in the second half, and Backes started hitting even the toughest shots.
With just under a minute left in the game, she had 39 points and stepped to the free throw line for two shots. After she made the first one, Head Coach Craig Walker took out the other four starters with Chisago Lakes up big. After Backes made the second, Walker decided to take her out with the Wildcats up by over 25. Backes also added 17 rebounds on the night, including nine offensive boards.
Alyssa Bjelland scored a career high 18 points and had eight rebounds for Chisago Lakes and Anna Peters dished out seven assists.
“As we continue our season, getting those two to produce alongside Carmen will be key for us,” Head Coach Craig Walker said.
Jillayna Hoppe had 16 points in the loss for North Branch and five rebounds.
Grand Rapids 75, Chisago Lakes 41
The ‘Cats took a double hit in this big match up, as they lost handily to their main Section 7AAA fodder, but they also lost Backes to a knee injury in the second half.
“If Carmen is out for a long stretch, we’ll obviously have to address some of the things we do,” Walker said after the game. The coach did confirm this week that it is a torn ACL and that Backes would be out for the season, dealing another devastating blow to the program.
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