MAYER — The Mayer Lutheran girls basketball team had a decision to make coming into this season. They needed to figure out who was going to replace Morgan Chmielewski as the point guard.
With Chmielewski being the only player not back from last year’s state tournament team, Mayer Lutheran coach Kris Gustin turned to Emma Lade to run the show for the Crusaders this season. It’s worked out pretty well.
Not only did Lade reach the 1,000 career point milestone, she also became the program’s all-time leading scorer early on in the Crusaders’ win over Buffalo Lake-Hector Stewart Monday night.
“It’s crazy,” Lade said about the moment. “Especially with last year, I never thought I’d come this close. I couldn’t have done without my teammates and their passes and everything they do for me.”
Instead of pouting when put into her new role, Lade took charge of the team as they’ll be playing for a section title for the fourth time in five seasons this Friday.
“She’s a gamer,” Gustin said. “She works really hard. She’s really grown over the year. She was always a good shooter and we put her in a really uncomfortable position this year asking her to be our point guard. She’s stepped up and done that well.”
Lade passed Mya Chmielewski to become the program’s all-time leading scorer. She is also tied for the career record in assists, a record she’ll most likely break as Lade and the Crusaders look to capture the Section 2A title Friday.
“She’s always seen the court well,” Gustin said. “Putting the ball in her hands was just the best thing for this team this year. She’s a great competitor and a great teammate. She has earned this. She puts in the time. It’s who she is. She wants to compete and she wants to win. It’s a testament to what she’s put into the game and it’s all been her effort.”
Lade will enter the Section 2A title game with 1,517 career points. She also has 338 career assists, needing just one more to surpass Jessica Klaustermeier for most in program history.