Athlete of the week: Rachel Stevenson, Spectrum, girls basketball: Nothing but net

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Rachel Stevenson was the main reason the Spectrum-PACT girls became a consistent winner in just the program’s third season this winter. In fact, the record-setting 5-foot-4 guard was the only senior on the team that finished 17-8 and had an 11-game win streak.

“Rachel leads by example and peers look up to her,” said coach Lenny Sedlock. “I think she can play college basketball.”

Stevenson scored 25 points in her final game, a 45-42 section loss to Foley, and finished with a school-record 975 points over four years. The 5-foot-4 guard tallied 16.1 points per game, another record.

Rachel Stevenson scored 975 career points, a Sting record, and led them to their first winning season, 17-8. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Rachel Stevenson scored 975 career points, a Sting record, and led them to their first winning season, 17-8. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

“Most of her points come from the three-point arc and on the free throw line,” said Sedlock. “She drives very well and gets fouled taking the ball to the hoop. She  is in great basketball shape and runs the floor very well.”

The term “nothing but net” frequently applied to Stevenson as she sank 54 three-pointers in 170 attempts (a solid 31.6 percent) and sizzled at the free throw line, 65-of-78 for 83.3 percent, all Sting records. She also had 3.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.6 steals per game.

In one four-game stretch, Stevenson made 29 of 32 free throws and totaled 74 points, for which she became the first Sting to receive Star-Tribune athlete of the week recognition. (The paper picks about six each week from the metro area).

“My dad worked with me a lot on my shooting when I was growing up,” said Stevenson, who lives in Ramsey. “He played in high school and college, at Anoka-Ramsey. Since eighth grade I’ve had the three-point shot working. In the last couple years I started knocking down the free shots pretty well.”

The Sting are a small school playing against other small schools, although there are Minneapolis Conference schools also mixed in. The win streak they put together was “very exciting,” she said.

“We were playing as a team and looking out for each other and hustling and always going hard on defense.”

Other highlights were making the Southwest Christian all-tournament team, scoring 33 points in a win over Columbia Heights, and being featured in the Breakdown USA Basketball Preview.

Stevenson started a few games in ninth grade at PACT and showed some scoring ability. With the Sting, she averaged 7.8 points as a sophomore and 11.8 as a junior.

She made 123 three-pointers in her career while hitting 71.2 percent of her free throws (148-for-208). Career totals also include 291 rebounds, 203 assists, and 185 steals.

“These last two years have been really fun, playing with these girls,” said Stevenson. “I am looking forward to watching them play next year.”

She is also hoping to still be playing somewhere herself. “I’m looking for a place to play,” said Stevenson. “I really want to keep playing in college.”

THE STEVENSON SCORECARD

Rachel Stevenson

Rachel Stevenson

Personal file — Age: 18 … Family: parents Jeff and Jill; brother Andy … Sport: basketball … Academics: 3.77 GPA as PSEO student … College plans: undecided where; business major; hopes to play basketball
Favorite stuff — Class: psychology … TV shows: “Walking Dead,” “Reign,” “Nashville” …. Movies: “Anything with Adam Sandler” … Food: cheeseburgers at Rock Bottom Brewery … Drink: Mt. Dew … Music: country … Teams: all the Minnesota teams … Athletes: Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, Kevin Love … Hobby: guitar … Wants to visit: Hawaii

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