EAGLE RIVER - With Northland Pines' win over Clintonville on Tuesday night, Lexi Smith's incredible high school basketball career will continue for at least one more game.
That means at least one more practice, where you can always find her moving at full speed, and pushing her teammates along the way.
"I think it's the most fun part about practice. I love playing defense against her, I love bumping up against her," said Northland Pines junior Cassie Gauthier.
Such determination has been a big part of her athletic success, but it's the huge amount of success that's truly impressive.
"She's a three sport athlete and she's gotten GNC Player of the Year in every sport she's played," said northland Pines Head Basketball Coach Larry Bergum.
Smith is a seven time first-team all-conference player in volleyball, basketball, and soccer.
On the hardwood is where she really shines. The Eagles senior eclipsed the 2,000 career point mark fewer than two weeks ago, making her just the 20th girls player in Wisconsin history to reach the milestone.
"1976 girls basketball started, that's 41 years ago, and like you say out of thousands of girls that have participated since then, and there's more girls in the sport now than ever, and there's only 20 and she's one of the 20 that accomplished that goal," said Bergum. "That's amazing."
Her teammates understand they've been lucky to play with such a dominant force on the court.
But if you ask them, that's not even the best part.
"I think her leadership is the biggest thing with how she works with everyone. She's very humble, and she just knows how to incorporate everyone to get herself open and to get other people open, so she's really fun to play with," said junior Hadley Kruse.
Despite scoring at will for almost four straight years, and even though 2,000 points is the more rare accomplishment, Smith says it's an earlier milestone game that stands out in her mind.
"The game that always sticks in my head is the Medford game last year when we came back from 26 points down. It was also the night I hit my 1,000th point, and it was just a big night overall," said Smith.
She's not only the league's top scorer.
The senior also leads the Great Northern Conference in rebounding, blocks and free throw percentage.
Her career point total is now at 2,058, which is just seven points shy of 12th place all time.
She's off to Northern Michigan University next year to play basketball for the Wildcats.
SEYMOUR, IND. - A chain-reaction crash in southern Indiana killed a Minocqua couple on Wednesday morning.
Glenn Cardelli and his wife, Kathryn, both 57 years old, were traveling in south an RV near Seymour, Ind., on Interstate 65. The RV was behind a semi and an SUV, both of which slowed due to highway maintenance.
Another semi failed to slow down behind the stalled traffic and crashed into the Cardellis' RV. The crash killed the couple and John Mumma, 67, an Illinois man driving the SUV.
The vehicles caught fire. Interstate 65 was closed for about eleven hours for cleanup and crash investigation.
RHINELANDER - A former contracted janitor accused of sexually assaulting a Rhinelander student appears headed for a trial.
Stavros Iliopoulos appeared in Oneida County Court on Friday afternoon. Attorneys told Judge Michael Bloom they had not reached a plea deal. Bloom decided to schedule one final pre-trial conference for late August before a two-day jury trial was set for Sept. 4 and 5.
In late November, police said Iliopoulos, 65, took a girl into a dark closet and hugged, kissed, and touched her inappropriately at Northwoods Community Elementary School, a public charter school in Harshaw.
Iliopoulos worked for a contracted company, Victory Janitorial, at the time.
WOODRUFF - Shoveling snow can hurt your back. But some may not know that staring at all that snow can hurt your eyes.
The term albedo tells us the amount of light that's either absorbed into the ground or reflected back up. On days like Friday, the snow pack will really make it look brighter out and boost the albedo amount. That's hard on the eyes.
Dr. Kirby Redman is an Optometrist in Woodruff. He says there are simple ways to protect your eyes from the sun's damaging rays.
All sorts of animals are affected by icy conditions. Some Northern Wisconsin owls dive INTO the snow to hunt small rodents. But recent freezing rain has formed an ice crust that owls can't break through. That means owls are beginning to starve.
Amanda Schirmer has been working at the Northwoods Wilderness Center for the past four years. She says that owls may hang around birdfeeders to prey on smaller birds. They may also be seen near roads.
LINCOLN CO. - The Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Office is calling a death east of Merrill on Thursday a homicide.
In a press release on Friday morning, the sheriff's office said a 77-year-old woman was found shot and killed around 8:30 a.m. on Thursday. In the same home, a 78-year-old man was found critically injured from a gunshot wound.
It happened at a home on Range Line Road in the Town of Pine River.
The sheriff's office said it believes the shooting is isolated and the public is not in danger.
The Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin Department of Justice Crime Lab worked to process the scene.
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