Girls basketball: Crusaders' Januschka is setting the pace, setting an example

Girls basketball: Crusaders' Januschka is setting the pace, setting an example

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Girls basketball: Crusaders' Januschka is setting the pace, setting an example

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Leadership and competitiveness are qualities that can’t necessarily be taught, and senior forward Jenna Januschka has provided both of those qualities and more for St. Cloud Cathedral girls basketball team.

It is a coach’s dream to have a player of that caliber, and head coach Ron Prom has had the privilege of coaching Januschka since she was a freshman.

“Jenna’s probably the most competitive athlete I’ve ever coached in any sport,” Prom said. “And competitiveness on the court is something you can’t teach them — either they have it or they don’t.”

She is averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds a game in her last season as a Crusader, which is well above her career average of 12 points and 8.5 rebounds.

Januschka is a big part of why the Crusaders are in second place in the Granite Ridge Conference with an 8-2 GRC record, 12-7 overall.

The Crusaders trail only Albany, which is 7-0 in the conference (14-3 overall).

“I just go out there and try to play my best each game and want what’s best for the team,” Januschka said. “If I see someone open I will try and get them the ball, but I will take the shot if I’m open.”

“She’s a very unselfish player and she does whatever needs to be done to include everybody in the game,” Prom said.

The level of competition that the Crusaders face is higher than what Prom was used to coaching against before he came to the Crusaders. The success that Januschka has had this season is not by mistake.

“I’ve had players who have scored more points than Jenna on past teams I’ve coached,” Prom said. “(With) the schedule we play, to have the success she’s had this season there’s something to be said about that.”

A big part of why Januschka has had success most of her career is because she comes from a competitive family background. Her brother Luke plays basketball at St. John’s, and her sister Erin is a member of Concordia-Moorhead basketball team.

“It definitely helped me growing up because we were all so competitive and we still are to this day,” Januschka said. “I have to say I’m the most competitive out of all my family.”

Her competitive nature helps the rest of the Crusaders, because when they see her play at a high level they feel they need to match that.

Januschka has the ability to score from basically anywhere on the floor. Her best friend and senior teammate Erin Stoker — a teammate since fifth grade — knows her best.

“Her offense is super good because she is always attacking and she’s super-aggressive,” Stoker said. “If she’s open, I just give the ball to her because I’m not a shooter — it’s just really nice to play with her.

“She’s really supportive of everyone because if she sees someone down, she tries to get them up,” Stoker said. “She’s not always focused on herself. She looks for the greater good of the team and that’s nice.”

Januschka would love nothing more than for the team to finish the season strong and make a run to the high school state tournament.

Two teams that the Crusaders have to worry about are Albany and Foley. The Falcons are a conference opponent.

Januschka will have to play a key role if the Crusaders want to make a tournament run. In the process, she has the chance this season to reach the 1,000-point milestone.

“If she keeps up on how she’s scoring, I can see her getting there,” Stoker said.

“That’d be really sweet, because she’s an awesome person.”

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