Hi-Line Athlete Profile
Whether it's been with the Blue Ponies or the Knights, Jade Wendland is making her late aunt very proud
Last updated 2/24/2022 at 8:55am
As the Havre High girls basketball team begins its postseason with the Eastern A Divisionals this week, every Blue Pony will be needed to make an impact. One of those is senior Jade Wendland, who will be looking to continue making plays for the Ponies in her lone season as with the program.
However, the North Star transfer will be playing with a heavy heart after her aunt Jamie Young passed away from cancer this past Sunday. Young a former basketball player herself in her days on the Hi-Line, will be sorely missed by the community, and by her niece.
"As of right now, my Aunt Jamie motivates me," Wendland said. "That keeps me going because she wanted me to be successful and she wanted me to work hard and she was my biggest fan, so I play for her."
In her final season of high school basketball, Wendland has been looking to make her aunt proud. She is the second-leading scorer for the Ponies averaging 10.8 points a game on 36.5 percent shooting from the field. Wendland likes to score in transition while taking shots from deep.
"My playstyle is quick. I'm a shooter," Wendland said. "I feed off my defense so if I have a good defensive game, then my offense will follow."
After winning the state title last season, the Ponies have had an excellent season as they attempt to defend their title. They finished the regular season with a 17-1 record and are riding a 15-game winning streak heading into the postseason. Wendland believes team defense has led the Ponies to success this year.
"The whole team's key to success is our defense and how hard we work and what we put into practice," Wendland said. "In a game situation, it shows how hard we work and push everyone and encourage everyone."
While she was not a part of the Ponies' state title team last year, Wendland has experienced postseason success in North Star. In last year's District 9C championship game, Wendland made the deciding 3-pointer in the closing moments to give North Star the 61-58 win over Fort Benton to win the title. She finished the title game with 15 points for the Knights.
After her junior year, she moved to Havre and began participating in athletics for the Ponies. While she had to get used to living in a larger town, she also had to adjust after moving to Class A competition from Class C competition.
"Tryouts was the new thing for me because coming from a Class C school to Class A, it was kind of odd for me," Wendland said. "We go a lot farther traveling so when you're sitting on a bus, you have time to get your mind right before the big game."
Outside of basketball, Wendland also competes in volleyball and track. In her free time, she hunts and fishes with her family. Once her senior year is over, she plans on attending college where she hopes to continue playing basketball. She will pursue a degree that will help her become an elementary teacher.
The Ponies head to Billings to begin the Eastern A Divisionals this week. Before they head off, the Havre Daily News got the chance to ask Wendland five questions.
HDN: Out of all the sports you play, which is your favorite?
Wendland: "Basketball. I think it's just because I put so much time and effort into that and it's just become my favorite sport. I've traveled and been on the AAU team and it's really been eye opening."
HDN: Over the years, what have you learned to love the most about the hoops?
Wendland: "For me, it's like therapy. So what's happening in my life or with family or school, (basketball) just takes time off and just gets me focused on something else and that's really enjoyable. It gets my body working, it gets me worked out, keeps me in shape and just keeps me going."
HDN: What's the most important thing you've learned from basketball?
Wendland: "Attitude is everything and so is hard work. Everything that you put into practice and doing the little things gets you to where you are and gets you ready for the big game."
HDN: What's the most difficult part about basketball?
Wendland: "I think the most difficult part is when you're tired and you got a lot going on. When you're really emotional, you just keep pushing and playing hard. Even when you want to give up, you just got to keep telling yourself it's all a mental game."
HDN: As you head into divisionals this week, what do you think will be the key to success?
Wendland: "I think the key to success is eating meals, getting rest and the team just staying together when we need each other the most."