Calls From Home: Pogatchnik making impact for Bemidji State

The Proctor alum is among the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference's top 10 rebounds despite being a guard.

111622.S.BP.BSUWBB2 Sam Pogatchnik.jpg
Bemidji State sophomore Sam Pogatchnik (22), a Proctor alum, moves the ball up the court during the first half against Mayville State on Monday, Nov. 14 at the BSU Gymnasium.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
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Sam Pogatchnik, who has started all of Bemidji State women's basketball’s conference games this season, equaled a season best with 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists on Dec. 17 at Minnesota Crookston.

Pogatchnik, a redshirt sophomore guard from Proctor, is averaging 9.6 points and 7.4 boards for the 3-7 Beavers.

Pogatchnik’s total makes her the conference’s fifth-leading rebounder through 10 games and she has two double-doubles on the season. No BSU guard has recorded three double-doubles in a season in school history.

  • Grace Kirk (Duluth Marshall) has increased her contribution for Brown, posting a season-high six points in 13 minutes on Dec. 7 at Providence. Three days later, she had four points, five assists and a rebound in 11 minutes vs. Mitchell.
  • Gianna Kneepkens (Duluth Marshall) has continued to be a major force for an 11th-ranked and undefeated Utah team as Pac-12 conference play begins in earnest. Through 12 games, all but one out of the league, the sophomore is averaging 14.4 points, 2.2 assists and 4 rebounds per game, making her Utah’s second-leading scorer and most accurate (49.1 percent) outside shooter.

Kneepkens’ best performance in December was probably Dec. 10 at BYU, where she scored 18 points (including five 3-pointers), plus six rebounds and three assists as the Utes claimed a 76-59 win in Provo, Utah. Kneepkens had a breakout performance when the teams met in Salt Lake City last year, scoring 29 points off the bench.
In Utah’s only conference game so far, Kneepkens had 17 points, six rebounds and five assists as the Utes routed Colorado 85-58 on Dec. 14. Utah (12-0) began the bulk of its conference schedule on Friday night at Washington State.

Calls From Home

Calls From Home is an occasional feature that will highlight alumni from local high school athletic programs who are now competing in junior hockey or intercollegiate athletics outside the Northland. If you're aware of a local athlete who should be added to our list, please email with the subject "Calls From Home."


  • Heaven Hamling (Grand Rapids) had 39 points, including 7-of-12 from 3-point range and 10-for-10 from the free-throw line in a Nov. 27 game at Nevada.

Since then, the senior has been a fixture in the Bison starting lineup, averaging 15.3 points and 4.9 rebounds. Most recently, Hamling was 6-for-11 from the field for 17 points plus six boards in a 74-56 Summit League home win over St. Thomas.
Hamling is the leading scorer for the 8-4 Bison and has a team-best 31 3-pointers.

  • Sophomore Lexiss Trygg (Virginia) scored an NCAA career-high 17 points in 21 minutes off the bench for Bethany Lutheran in an 81-57 home win over Central (Iowa) on Dec. 17. Trygg was 7-for-14 from the field and had five rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

Trygg, who also played volleyball for BLC this season and accumulated over 100 kills, 73 digs and 48 blocks, transferred after a freshman season at NAIA University of Jamestown (North Dakota).

  • Maddie Young (Cloquet) got into the scorebook close to home, making a pair of free throws for St. Catherine in a 65-53 win at St. Scholastica on Dec. 3 in Duluth. The first-year player has gotten into five games as a reserve, scoring a total of 10 points.
  • Allie Negen (Mountain Iron-Buhl) is averaging 5.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game for Valley City State in North Dakota. Most recently, she had nine points and a team-best eight boards as the Vikings fell to Morningside University in the second of two games at the Hoop and Surf Classic in Hilo, Hawaii.


Duluth East product Will Van Scoy has settled into a role for Wisconsin-River Falls, seeing significant action in 10 games before the holiday break.

Van Scoy is averaging 4.5 points and 1.3 rebounds, with his best outing so far coming in a Nov. 22 contest at Northwestern (St. Paul), in which he was 4-for-6 from the field for nine points, plus two rebounds and an assist in a 90-88 Falcons win. More recently, Van Scoy had six points and two assists in 24 minutes in a Dec. 17 overtime home loss to Hamline.

  • Monte Mayberry (Northwestern) equaled a college career high when he scored eight points in 15 minutes for Cardinal Stritch University (in Milwaukee) in a Dec. 14 game at Indiana Northwest. Mayberry is averaging 3.9 points and 2.4 rebounds through 11 games for the NAIA Wolves.
  • Xavier Patterson (Superior) made his first start of the season for Bethany Lutheran on Dec. 17 and made the most of it, equaling a season high for points, 22, in a 98-85 road loss at Buena Vista (Iowa). Patterson went 9-for-18 from the field in his 34 minutes and had a team-best seven assists and added six rebounds and three steals.

The junior guard has scored in double figures in his last three contests, raising his average to 11.3 points per game. He had eight points and four assists in an 85-82 victory on Dec. 9 when his hometown Wisconsin-Superior Yellowjackets came to Mankato for a Upper Midwest Athletic Conference game.

  • Another Spartans alum, Mason Ackley, has started every game this season for the Vikings and scored a season-high 23 in the previously mentioned Buena Vista game. The junior forward is averaging 12.6 points and 7.5 boards per contest and is one rebound short of being the leader on the glass for the 10-1 Vikings (2-0 UMAC).
  • Bemidji State’s John Sutherland (Grand Rapids) battled through an injury to return to form on Dec. 17 in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game at Minnesota Crookston. Coming off the bench after missing the previous weekend’s games with a right ankle injury, he scored 22 points and kicked in five rebounds as the Beavers ended a four-game losing streak.


Joe Rudd (Duluth) was a runaway winner for St. Thomas in the 200-yard breaststroke at the Rochester Invitational Dec. 2-4 in Rochester, Minnesota.

Rudd finished in 1 minute, 59.34 seconds, more than three seconds clear of second place in the final, within a field of 32 swimmers from seven schools. Rudd also won the 100 breast in 54.98 and finished second in the 200 individual medley (1:51.65).

Both his 100 and 200 IMs were program records.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
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