By Rob Potter
ROSCOE Febuary 02, 2001 -With 4:24 showing in the second quarter in Mondays game between Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division V foes Chapel Field and Roscoe, Lady Blue Devil forward Danielle Austin scored a layup.
On any other night, the basket would have just been an ordinary hoop that boosted host Roscoes lead over Chapel Field to nine points 26 to 17. But on this evening, Austins simple lofting of the basketball to the backboard glass and its subsequent fall through the net was an historic moment.
The basket gave Austin her 999th and 1,000 career varsity points. The game was halted for a few moments as Austin was presented with flowers, balloons and the basketball. Austin posed for photos with coach Becky Ahart as the home crowd cheered and several spectators waved signs that said simply 1,000 Points.
A banner attached to the scorers table was unfurled to reveal that Austins name had been added the list of Roscoe hoopsters who had recorded 1,000 varsity points. Those other seven players included Lou Farragher, Carrie Gorton, Darren Hendrickson, Daniel Johnston, Jeffrey Meola, Jennifer Thomas and Larry Winter.
While Austin and her Lady Blue Devil teammates went on to post a 60-39 victory over the Lady Lions, her milestone was clearly the focus of the evening.
And it was a milestone that Becky Ahart, Roscoe athletic director Fred Ahart and others tried to keep a surprise.
I didnt know anything about it until 11 this morning, said Austin, who has been a member of the Roscoe varsity squad since eighth grade. A couple of guys on the boys team heard Mr. Ahart talking about it and they told me I was close to 1,000 points. But when I asked Mrs. Ahart about it later in the day, she was like, I think youre on the right track.
Though Becky Ahart played coy with Austin when asked about the 1,000 point plateau Monday afternoon, she knew exactly how close Austin was to the mark.
We had been keeping track since the beginning of the season, Ahart explained. After she scored 16 against Eldred last Friday, we knew she needed 11 tonight and we figured she should be able to get that many.
Austin finished the game with 15 points, helping Roscoe (94, 40 Division V) turn what had been a close game in the first quarter into a blowout.
Im proud of Danielle, Becky Ahart said. Shes a great player and a credit to her team, school and community.
Austin, who recorded her 100th career soccer goal last autumn, said her teammates and coaches shouldered much of the responsibility for her hoops milestone.
Its a nice goal to accomplish, but I dont hold personal goals really high as compared to team goals, she said. Ive had excellent teammates and been on great teams. I give a lot of credit to Ms. Ahart and (assistant coach) Mr. (Chris) Russo, theyre excellent coaches.
As for the game itself, Roscoe, which trailed Chapel Field (210, 14 Division V) 17-16 at the end of the first quarter, outscored the visitors 21 to 6 in the second period and 18-3 in the third period to remove any doubts as to which team would prevail.
They went to a zone and took us right out of our game, said Chapel Field coach Mike Bongura. Our offense versus the man-to-man (defense) looked good. But our offense against the zone needs work. And Roscoe definitely has a home court advantage here.
Indeed, the Chapel Field players were called for backcourt and other violations several times on Roscoes small, unique court.
Becky Ahart agreed with Bongura as to the key factor in the contest.
They came out with quite an offensive spurt in the first quarter, so we decided to go to the zone, Ahart said. Our girls like to play zone and they looked good in it tonight.
To cap off her memorable evening, Austin recorded a double-double, grabbing 15 rebounds to go along with her aforementioned 15 points. Kelly Ahart netted a team-high 17 points for Roscoe and Crystal Evans added 10 points and seven rebounds.
Stacy Kuperus, who scored 17 points, was the only Chapel Field player to reach double figures.