by Bruce Strand, Sports Editor
For Elk River basketball fans watching Abi Scheid burst onto the scene last winter, the best part was knowing she was just a freshman. How good could she could become?
The long-limbed, 6-foot-2 sophomore center gave a good indication of that potential with 92 points in her past three games — 31 points with 12 rebounds and four blocks in a 90-83 win at Maple Grove, then 30 points and 12 rebounds in an 80-70 loss to Centennial, and 31 points in a 65-62 loss at Osseo, all strong opponents.
Coach Reed Caouette notes “significant improvements” in her game from hard work.
“She is finishing around the basket better and recognizing double teams,” the coach said. “She can shoot the jump shot from the free-throw line now. She has even made a couple of 3-pointers. And of course she is rebounding very well and blocking shots.”
Scheid acknowledged: “I’ve been going to the Y a lot to practice shooting and post moves, going up stronger, stuff like that. And dribbling. I work a lot on dribbling.”
Scheid was all-conference and team MVP as a freshman when she notched 13.5 points, 12.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots per game, helping the Elks improve to 16-13 from 7-20 the year before.
This year, Scheid is averaging 19 points and 11.5 rebounds, shooting .507 from the floor and .716 at the line, and has pushed over 600 career points.
The Elks, hoping for a breakout year, are 5-7. “We just need to learn how to finish because all our games have been really close,” said Scheid. With three freshmen and two sophomores combining to average almost 50 of the team’s 69 ppg, the Elks have time to figure it out.
Scheid is a mild, pleasant youth whose emotions never get in her way, a good feature for a program’s fulcrum player. She even has a relaxing hobby, knitting on a small loom. She’s made three scarves so far.
“Abi is a very even-keel player, even though she is very competitive,” Caouette said. “That really helps our team, her being so steady. She is a great teammate.”
Scheid reached 6 feet in seventh grade and thought that was pretty cool. “Yeah. I could see over everybody in the hallways,” she smiled.
Scheid started track last spring and volleyball this fall. She was a JV shot and disc thrower and is thinking about adding hurdles.
Formerly a soccer goalie, she started out on the volleyball JV but wound up leading the varsity in blocks (64) while firing off a few kills once she got the swing down.
Basketball is No. 1, though. She also plays for the Metro Stars AAU against other college-bound players. Colleges are taking notice. “There have been a number of scouts this year,” Caouette said. “She is definitely on their radar.”
Scheid appreciates their attention, but reflects that it’s “a little nerve-wracking,” too. She has visited North Dakota State and has an invitation from South Dakota State. There will be many more callers. Fortunately for ERHS, she’ll be an Elk through 2016.
THE SCHEID SCORECARD
Personal file — Family: parents Gregg and Sue; sisters Gracie and Kenzie, … Sports: volleyball, basketball, track … Academics: 3.5 GPA … Other activities: Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Favorite stuff — Class: Math, Clay, French … TV show: “Criminal Minds,” Kardashians, “The Voice” … Movies: “The Notebook” and other romantic fare …. Reading: “Breakdown” magazine … Music: Macklemore “Can’t Hold Us,” Pitbull hip hop, sometimes country … Teams: Lynx, Timberwolves, Miami Heat … Athlete: LaBron James, Maya Moore, Molli Detloff … Food: Mom’s ravioli …. Drink: Gatorade lime rain … Wants to visit: Hawaii, France