Redwood Valley junior guard pouring in points

When Redwood Valley boys basketball coach Kelly Raymond went to the high school to retrieve some materials from his classroom on Christmas Eve, he heard a familiar sound. It wasn't the clatter of reindeer on the roof. Rather, it was the incessant...

When Redwood Valley boys basketball coach Kelly Raymond went to the high school to retrieve some materials from his classroom on Christmas Eve, he heard a familiar sound. It wasn't the clatter of reindeer on the roof. Rather, it was the incessant bouncing of a basketball on the hardwood. And Raymond was sure he knew who was behind the noise.

"I knew right away it was Mike (Felt) in the gym working on his shot," said Raymond. I've never seen anyone work so hard. He's always the last one to leave after practice. I have to shut the lights off to get him to stop."

Felt's work ethic has led to standout season as evidenced by the 6-2 junior guard posting four of the top five single-game performances (see chart at left) in the area so far this season, including a 56-point outing Jan. 22 against Waseca. That 56-point game shattered the school record of 55 previously held by 7-footer Dan Zolbeck during the 1971-72 season. Felt made 16-of-26 shots that night, including 8-of-12 from three-point range. He also cashed 16-of-21 free throws.

"I had no idea how many points I had that night until someone told me after the game," said Felt, seemingly uncomfortable talking about it. "It was just one of those nights where you feel like every shot you take is going in."

Felt is averaging an area-best 29.8 points-per-game this season, as well as four assists and six rebounds.


But he has been hampered lately by a bum ankle that he rolled against Worthington on Jan. 18 and recently re-aggravated. Without his usual explosiveness, Felt was held to a season-low 15 points Jan. 29 against Montevideo. Of course, Montevideo's standout defense didn't help matters either.

"I can't use the ankle as an excuse," said Felt. "I had open shots and just didn't hit them. Just like some nights you can't miss, this was one night where I couldn't buy a bucket. About the only thing you can do is keep shooting and hope they go in sooner or later."

Felt also scored well below his average the next game against Worthington last Friday night, finishing with 16 points.

"It's obvious he's not 100 percent," said Raymond. "He says he's at 80 percent, but I think it's closer to 60. He's not getting the lift on his shots that her normally does. With a bigger player, it would not make that much difference. But with a player that counts on being quick and explosive, it really does hinder him."

Felt has proven he can amass big numbers against superior opponents. He tossed in 34 points against Osseo, the No. 2-ranked team in Class AAAA, on Dec. 15 in a Marshall Invitational.

His outstanding quickness, stellar ball-handling and torrid shooting have piqued the interest of several Division I colleges, including the University of Minnesota, Creighton, Northern Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota State and South Dakota State.

"I think colleges are interested in his ability to play the point and his shooting," said Raymond. "Especially since colleges are moving the three-point line back next season."

Felt leads the area in three-point shooting, making 59 while shooting a robust 47 percent behind the arc. He is shooting just under 50 percent overall from the field and 79 percent from the free-throw line.


A second-team All-Area selection last season, Felt also is a standout athlete in football and track and field. As a quarterback this past fall, he posted one of the area's top quarterback efficiency marks while completing 94-of-186 passes for 1,159 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was also one of the team's top tacklers as a safety. And he was also a member of the state 4 x 800 relay team in track that finished fourth in Class A. He also appeared to have qualified for state in the 800 run, finishing second in the region meet. But officials ruled one of Felt's teammates was pacing him along the sideline and disqualified him.

Felt also excels in the classroom with a 3.60 grade-point-average.

"He's a very smart kid," said Raymond. "And it shows in his decision-making process on the court. He has an even keel about him. Nothing upsets him. He is able to make his teammates better, which I believe is the sign of a great player. We all know he can score, but I always tell him that with greatness comes responsibility. And he has been able to shoulder that remarkably."

Basketball is Felt's favorite sport and he appears headed toward breaking the school's career scoring record of 1,865 points held by David Homann, a 1998 graduate. Felt is currently at 1,377.

"I guess it would be nice to break it," said Felt. "I'm not focusing on it. If it happens, it happens. I'm just trying to help the team win games."

Maybe shutting the lights off is the only way to stop him.

What To Read Next
Get Local