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Two Lady Raiders reach 1,000-point milestone

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By Dave Taylor

By DAVE TAYLOR
The Trimble Banner
Two highlights in the Lady Raiders’ win Friday night were played out in separate quarters as junior teammates Shelbe Black and Kaylee Clifford sank baskets that achieved the 1,000th point of each girl’s varsity basketball career.
It was a pleasant surprise to both girls who had no prior knowledge that they were close to the milestone.
“We tried very hard to keep that a secret and if I told you what we have gone through the past two weeks, you would probably laugh at me but I wanted them to earn it while playing their game and didn’t want to give anybody a ‘heads up’ where it would affect how they play,” Trimble Coach Kerrie Stewart said later.
There were questions in the minds of a number of fans whether Black would even play Friday as she has been nursing an injury of the right shoulder that occurred during volleyball season last fall.
“I was nervous because my doctor told me today that it depended on me if I wanted to play or not and of course I wanted to play but yeah, it’s been sore for the past couple days but tonight I think it was the energy and stuff and it was like there was nothing wrong,” she said.
“We weren’t sure if Shelby could’ve played tonight but we helped that shoulder a little bit and when the first accident happens, we need to sit her out tonight,” Stewart said. “She wanted to play and to see how she feels. She got within two and said, ‘hey, coach, I need out,’ and I said, ‘Oh, Lord, please tell me she can go again.’ Then she said, ‘I am good to go again’ and I thought great before the end of the first half.”
Black’s magic bucket came with 47 seconds left to play in the first half. Stewart immediately called time out to mark the occasion.
“She called that time out and I sat on the bench and she motioned me to get up,” Black said. “I almost shook my head no because I was so tired and wanted to rest but I was like what the heck. I walked out there and I had no idea.”
Raider announcer Steve Consley announced the achievement to the crowd and Stewart presented Black with a game ball to mark the occasion.
Shortly after the halftime break, with 6:15 remaining to play in the third quarter, Clifford launched a trey that sent her into the 1,000-point Club.
“Kaylee came back early in the third quarter to get hers and that was pretty spectacular,” Stewart said. “It’s funny because Shelbe’s first varsity basket came in the second quarter and Kaylee’s first varsity basket came in at the third quarter and they both managed to hit 1,000.”
“The adrenaline took over and whenever we got it, we were like right off the bat and were so excited we wanted to keep shooting and we kept looking at each other and couldn’t hit anything now,” Clifford said. “It was funny. We have actually talked about it, it being on a night at home. It was a dream come true.”
“I think Kaylee said it best in the locker room as she looked at all the senior players and said thank you all for letting me be a part of this, I wouldn’t have got this without you guys,” Stewart said. “That is so true, it all revolved around the team and as a unit and that they are so unselfish with each other and they want to see each shine and when doing that the team shines. I am proud of them all.”