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Posted On: 01/25/18 6:12 PM
The Annandale basketball program has become something of a model for consistency and sustained excellence in recent years. Through strong coaching and established culture, there is always talent readily available in the pipeline. Nick Bieniek is a perfect example of that culture as he’s gotten better and taken on more responsibility each year.
A multi-year starter now in his senior year, Bieniek is leading the tenth-ranked Cardinals, averaging better than 17 points and five rebounds per game. The 6-foot-3 guard has taken his game to another level this season, showcasing his ability to score from every level on the floor and play high-quality individual and team defense.
“Everybody has really stepped up for us,” said Bieniek. “There’s always someone that seems to have a big game. AJ [Hinz], Trenton [Peterson], Trent Pepper, it goes on; we have a lot of experience and a lot of talent. Our bench has been good.”
Bieniek’s play hasn’t gone unnoticed as he’s got a number of college suitors.
“Bemidji just contacted me not too long ago,” said Bieniek. “They seemed pretty interested so I’m hoping to get a visit set up soon. [Annandale coach Skip] Dolan knows the coach pretty well so that one is very interesting. Wisconsin Stout has shown some interest as well. They have a great program too. I’m not in a big hurry to make a decision though. I’d like to see how the rest of the season goes.”
The Cardinals have gotten to the state tournament each of the last five seasons. Bieniek’s played a valuable role on two of them. Getting to state a sixth time in a row will be a great challenge because of the new section alignments putting them with St. Cloud Cathedral (The No. 5 team in Class AA). But with guys like Bieniek and Hinz and a coach like Dolan, the Cardinals won’t be considered underdogs by any stretch.