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Athlete of the week: Tiede standing tall for Blackhawks

WOONSOCKET -- At 6-foot-5, Brady Tiede regularly stands above the competition. But for good measure, he's outplaying them too. The Sanborn Central/Woonsocket boys basketball team's starting center is providing a crucial post presence for the Blac...

WOONSOCKET - At 6-foot-5, Brady Tiede regularly stands above the competition.

But for good measure, he's outplaying them too.

The Sanborn Central/Woonsocket boys basketball team's starting center is providing a crucial post presence for the Blackhawks.

"Every team has shooters, but when the shots aren't falling, you need someone to get those hard baskets inside and rebounds. Brady gets that for us," Sanborn Central/Woonsocket co-head coach Troy Olson said. "Brady definitely gives us an inside force."

Being tall on the basketball court is one key asset but Olson said it's how Tiede uses his height that creates the advantage for SC/W. In Sanborn Central/Woonsocket's 59-53 win over Corsica-Stickney on Thursday, Tiede powered the Blackhawk offense with 21 points and seven rebounds. Going up against Corsica-Stickney's standout post Cordel Menning, Tiede rose to the challenge.

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"It was fun to see those guys go at it," Olson said about Tiede and Menning. "Brady had a strong presence for us inside and he definitely had a big impact for us."

Tiede backed up that performance with 14 points in the Blackhawks big 61-44 win over No. 2 Wolsey-Wessington on Saturday, dealing the Warhawks their second loss of the season and breaking their 13-game winning streak. Olson said Tiede was battling the flu during Saturday's game but still managed to make an impact on the game for the Blackhawks.

"Brady was extremely sick so we had to rotate his minutes, but the minutes he was out there, he was a game-changer for us," Olson said. "He's a tough kid and a competitor. The team knows they are going to be there for each other."

For his efforts this past week on the basketball court, Tiede has been selected as The Daily Republic's athlete of the week, a weekly award voted on by the newspaper's sports staff.

On the season, Tiede is averaging 15.3 points per game, while shooting 63 percent from the field. The senior center leads the Blackhawks with 98 rebounds and is averaging 6.5 rebounds per game, along with 11 blocks, five steals and six assists.

Tiede, who attends Woonsocket High School, has played varsity basketball for the past three seasons, but Olson said his senior campaign has really stood out.

"I'm happy for Brady because he's able to show how talented he is and having the year that he's having," Olson said. "He's a strong kid and he's an athletic kid. He establishes that inside presence. We've been playing through him and he's responded for us."

Tiede missed the start of his junior season because of mononucleosis and Olson said that he never fully recovered from the illness last year. Before the setback during his junior season, Tiede picked up valuable varsity minutes as a sophomore and learned what it takes to be a successful post player.

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"He was a big, strong kid then too," Olson said. "He's had to learn how to manage his body and gain leverage for us. He's really gained a lot of confidence."

This year, Tiede has played a major role in helping the Blackhawks rattle off four wins in a row and improve to 12-3. Playing in District 6B that features tough teams in Wolsey-Wessington (13-2) and James Valley Christian (14-3), Olson said Tiede's understanding of the game and his role within the team has been crucial in the recent win streak.

"These kids have played a lot of ball together and the know what needs to be done," Olson said. "We are playing with a little more intensity and really sharing the ball well. We are playing some pretty good basketball and we just hope to continue that on through the rest of the year."

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