Published Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 12:01 am / Updated at 11:59 pm
Q&A: Huettner overcomes vertebra injury

All-state football player Cord Huettner is playing basketball for Falls City after fracturing a vertebra in the first round of the playoffs. He had 15 points on Friday in his team’s first loss, to Maryville, Mo., and 25 points and eight rebounds on Saturday night against Elmwood-Murdock. The 6-foot-2 senior post player leads the 15-1 Tigers with 11.8 points and 5.4 rebounds a game.

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How much time did you miss before you were able to start playing basketball?

I was out for the first two weeks of practice or so. I wasn’t supposed to come back and do anything until I was 100 percent pain-free.

You said it was your biggest weekend. To what do you attribute your high scoring?

Probably just my shooting hand was hot. I didn’t miss a whole lot in those games.

Do you work a lot on your shooting?

I emphasize free throws. My sophomore year, I shot 36 percent. I knew I needed to change that. Now I’m shooting at 66.1 percent. With that improving, I improved most all of my shots. I changed my routine and practiced quite a few free throws and mid-range shots.

What do you do differently when you’re shooting free throws?

I changed when I look at the hoop. I used to look at the hoop while I was dribbling. Now, I do my whole routine and look up right before I shoot. I started making it since I changed to that. It worked, so I kept doing it.

What is the most fun part about basketball for you?

Winning, of course. I guess, with me being one of the smallest posts out there, I’m usually smaller than the guy I’m going up against. I think it’s fun to have a challenge to go up against a guy bigger than you and go up against them every game.

Are you surprised at how well your team is doing?

No. Last year, we lost only two seniors. So, we had four of us that played that either started or played the majority of the games last year. The fifth spot, we’ve been rotating two guys in, and they played a little bit last year on varsity.

What do the Tigers hope to accomplish this season?

As a team, we sat down at beginning of the year and made goals. We want to make it at least past the first round of the state tournament. We never make it past the first round. Freshman year we made it and lost in the first round. In football, we’ve lost in the first round ever since I can remember.

What is holding the team back?

I have no idea. We just all know it’s been a big issue in the past. It’s something we’re wanting to try to break.

— Marjie Ducey

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