Anoka basketball pair join elite club

Lundberg and Fredenburg join the 1,000 point club while helping Anoka continue new chapter in program

The 1,000 point milestone is something that doesn’t come along very often in basketball.

That’s why having two Anoka seniors, Claire Lundberg and Kyrah Fredenburg each reach beyond the century-point mark in the same season is such a big deal.Anoka senior teammates Claire Lundberg, left, and Kyrah Fredenburg, right, each passed the 1,000-point mark in January. Lundberg is also the top scorer in program history and Fredenburg sits third.

Not only did both hit the century mark but are among the program’s all-time leading scorers.

Coach Scott Antl is glad the two have the milestones past them.

“I know it took a load off their shoulders,” he said. Antl is in his first season leading the team after a brief time at PACT Charter School and 16 years in the Centennial program. “The both knew they were close coming into the season and it weighed on them because they wanted that plateau.”

The pair grew up in the Anoka in-house basketball program together. Fredenburg said they started in second grade and are quickly approaching their final games in Anoka.

“It will be really upsetting because a lot of us have been playing together for years,” Fredenburg said.

Lundberg joined the 1,000 point club against Maple Grove Jan. 10. She’s added nearly 200 points ahead of a Feb. 11 rematch against the Crimson and is the all-time scoring leader in Anoka history.

Fredenburg sits third on the all-time list with 1,084 points. She reached 1,000 points in the front half of a one-and-one free throw series during the Tornadoes 78-59 win over Elk River Jan. 24. She made the first basket before a small ceremony to mark the milestone but missed the second free throw.

She came into the game 16 points away from 1,000 points.

The pair marked a changing point in Anoka basketball after winning a section title as freshmen, added a second section title as juniors and added their names to the all-time list as seniors.

“I always still think about it – how fun it was and it still is a big goal [to make back to state],” Fredenburg said.

A third section title is well within reach for the senior-laden squad that features six collegiate prospects including Lundberg (Seton Hall) and Fredenburg (Concordia University, St. Paul).

Since back-to-back losses in December, Anoka is 11-3 with those losses against top-10 ranked programs.

Lundberg said the losses at Andover and against Park Center served as a wake-up call.

“We learned we have to play as a team and we can’t just expect to win. We have to play for it,” she said.

Fredenburg said she hasn’t really felt the pressure of being a state-caliber team with so many veterans.

“As long as we go out there and play together, I don’t think there is much pressure on us to win games. If we play hard we’re usually just fine,” Fredenburg said.

Anoka has nine seniors on the roster and Antl has challenged the team with a particularly difficult non-conference schedule against No. 8 ranked Chaska, No. 7 Bloomington Kennedy and two games against No. 2 Hopkins plus state-ranked Northwest Suburban Conference foes Osseo, Park Center, Champlin Park and No. 3 Centennial.

“The girls learn how to finish a game in those hard situations,” Antl said. “I’d rather lose by five points than win by 20 because we learn how to get so much better in a tough loss.

“[The seniors] are more mature now and really understand where they’re at and where they need to be.”

Defense continues to be the calling card for Anoka but finding an offensive rhythm has provided an extra dimension to rely on.

“This year the offense is finally coming around,” Lundberg said, after focusing more on the little things in shooting. “Once we got that figured out, we’ve done well.”

Kennedy ended the Tornadoes season in the state quarterfinals last season before falling to Hopkins in the state title game.

Anoka has come a long way from the two win 2010-11 regular season.

Anoka is 13-6 overall and 11-3 (third place) in the Northwest Suburban Conference.

Forest Lake, Andover and Anoka share the top three spots in the Section 7AAA standings.

With so many veterans, Antl changed up the offense to generate more looks at the basket in a more half-court style instead of a quicker up-tempo style.

Lundberg said teams like Hopkins and Kennedy can use their individual speed to score transition baskets while Anoka focuses on taking quality looks at the basket.

The key for Anoka has been its defense and Antl pointed to when they keep the opposition under 60 points, chances are the Tornadoes will come out ahead.

That approach helped during a its current five-game winning streak including a 78-62 win over Andover Jan. 31 and a 57-52 rematch win over the up-tempo Park Center squad Feb. 5.

Given the past experience, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see Anoka make a strong push at sections and make a third state tournament in four seasons.

Jason Olson is at
[email protected]