Korby's Corner: Esko’s sophomore shooting sensations say three-point shots are contagiousAble to cash-in lengthy jumpers from a distance as well as any high school boys basketball players around, Esko’s Marc Peterson, Kory Deadrick and Casey Staniger are like a theatrical performance on the basketball floor.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Whether it’s painted on a hardwood court, drawn by a piece of chalk on a driveway, or simply imaginary, the three-point arc makes the game of basketball entertaining – much like a trio of Esko sharp-shooting sophomores these days.
Able to cash-in lengthy jumpers from a distance as well as any high school boys basketball players around, Esko’s Marc Peterson, Kory Deadrick and Casey Staniger are like a theatrical performance on the floor. Their skills are finely-honed, while their ability to drain trifectas is as amusing as how far they can shoot them.
“Everyone likes the three-ball,” said Peterson following Esko’s fifth straight win, blowing out host Proctor 77-49 Tuesday evening.
That’s true. Whether a superstar, water boy or an average fan, there’s something about watching long-range bombs torch the twine that is pleasurable.
Esko’s threesome has recorded a torrid 45-percent clip from downtown this winter, making the Eskomos (19-4) one of the most entertaining teams around. In fact, Esko has hit a school record 17 three’s in a game this year.
“Against Duluth Marshall,” said Coach Mike Devney, now in his 18th season coaching and 13th at Esko, “we hit 16 twice, too, I believe.”
Devney starts his three underclassmen with seniors Jackson Lindquist and Jared Harms. He said he hasn’t done that since the 1996-97 season when he was in Carlton.
“There are moments where they look like seniors and moments where they look like sophomores,” Devney said, “but all three of them play well together and are so
unselfish. It’s nice having three kids like that.”
Devney explained that Deadrick (12.8), Staniger (11.9) and Peterson (11.3) are averaging over double figures this season as they develop their game. Along with their ability to cast deep balls, Devney said his three youngsters have other assets, too.
“They can rebound, pass well and have played pretty good defense, too,” Devney said. “They still have some learning to do, but they are talented and are catching up. For sophomores, I think they all play with a lot of confidence and poise each game.”
They always have, even as second-graders. Yes, second-graders.
Both Peterson and Deadrick first started playing competitively in second grade. With their fathers Todd Peterson and Shane Deadrick as coaches, Marc and Kory helped pace the Eskomos in the fourth-grade league. They played up until fifth grade when they first participated at their own age level.
Staniger moved to town in sixth grade, as the Eskomos placed state runner-up in the summer Pacesetter finals in both sixth and seventh grade.
Their success has been developed behind hard work.
“We went to summer camps at UWS, UMD and the U of M to work on our skills,” said the 6-foot-3, 180-pound Peterson. “It’s taken a lot of practice. Mostly we just go to open gyms in the summer and get some guys together to play.”
Peterson joined the Esko varsity team as an eighth-grader, Deadrick followed his freshman year, and Staniger is debuting this season, but his teammates were quick to admit he’s got the longest range of the trio.
“Casey has crazy range,” Deadrick said. “At practice, he’ll just let it go.”
Able to rip 30-footers, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound right-hander is deadly.
“Sometimes I don’t even realize where I am on the court,” said Staniger, who leads the Eskomos in shooting from three-point land this year at 52.7 percent. “I like the fact that all of us can score. That way there’s no pressure because anyone on this team can take over on any night.”
“We all have our ups and downs,” added the lanky, 6-foot-5, 165-pound Deadrick, “but this season we’ve been great from behind the arc.”
Deadrick said chucking three-pointers can be contagious.
“Casey could hit a couple, then someone else might hit one, then we’re all hitting,” he said. “We always want to get a good shot, but it’s kind of
That’s understandable. Yet, Peterson said he wasn’t always a three-point bomber. He was the first to note he – along with his teammates – has developed his game behind the leadership of the seniors, Lindquist and Harms.
“We would not be where we are without them,” Peterson said. “Those two know the game so well and bring so much leadership to us.”
“Our seniors knew those sophomores would have to be a part of us,” Devney said. “We have some good juniors, too. Hopefully, we can make
The trio will certainly do their best, shooting triples from a painted, drawn or imaginary arc one after the next.