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Athlete of the Week: Proctor’s Sam Pogatchnik

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PROCTOR, MN- 1,748 points and counting, Proctor senior guard Sam Pogatchnik is closing out her final season in style.

Back on January 17th, Pogatchnik became the all-time scoring leader in school history in a win over Mesabi East.

She says it was a dream come true.

"Having that in the back of my mind, I'm really close, I could possibly get it. So I made my first two layups, the three at the top of the key, it just felt good off my hands and then it went in. Then I was like wow, I did it, I hit my dream, I hit my goal. Honestly the greatest feeling," said Pogatchnik.

Pogatchnik could've broken the record sooner but her loyalty to the program persuaded her to do it in front of the hometown fans.

"We played Thursday, we played Eveleth-Gilbert, it was kind of a blowout game. He told me, this was Thursday do you want to get it tonight or do you want to get it tomorrow? I want to get it in front of my family, my friends, and my school," added Pogatchnik.

Record aside, Head Coach Matt Solberg says that Pogatchnik and her senior teammates are the reason the program has been so successful.

"Her and the rest of her senior class have kind of turned the tide of Proctor girl's basketball. 5 years ago, our program was not in the state as we are now. Wins were hard to come by, numbers were down. That senior class along with Sam has turned that thing around," said Solberg.

And Pogatchnik's play has only elevated her teammates around her.

"As a ninth-grader, she was our only scoring weapon. Probably around 20 points a game, somewhere in there. In the last three years, all the girls around her have developed where her scoring numbers have gone done a little bit. But when we need a bucket, we're going Pogatchnik's way," added Solberg.

With Bemidji State awaiting in her future for hoops, that hasn't steered her away from living in the moment.

"This year we just wanted to make it the best possible and just go as far as we could. Hopefully, make it to state and just kind of show them. We're the Proctor Rails, we got this. Give them a sense of fear when they play us. And now it kind of is that way," said Pogatchnik.

Proctor will next play at Cloquet on January 28th.

Neil Vierzba

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