Elizabethtown-Lewis senior Lily Whalen stands with coach Don Ratliff after scoring her 1,000th career point against Chazy Dec. 19.
The Elizabethtown-Lewis Lady Lions were in a tight basketball game against the Chazy Lady Eagles Dec. 19.
Tied, 11-11, after the first quarter, senior forward Lily Whalen stepped up not only for her team but also to put herself in the record books.
Whalen scored 14 points of her team’s 22 points in the second quarter, the final three coming on a wing jumper that gave her 1,002 career points. The Lions then cruised to a 60-30 victory to up their record to 5-2 as Whalen finished with a career-high 31 points.
“I have been working hard for this and my teammates have been real supportive as I got closer,” said Whalen, who is averaging 18.1 points per game on the season. “Don (Ratliff, coach) has been really supportive and the girls who graduated last year were very supportive. I’m glad I got it done so I can just play the rest of the year and focus on helping my team win games.”
Whalen said that she started the game nervous, scoring only two points in the first eight minutes of play.
“In the second I calmed down and played my game,” she said. “We played some good defense and got some turnovers that turned into good shots.”
At the 1:30 mark of the quarter, Whalen found herself with 13 points, 999 for her career, and starring down a three pointer from the wing.
“It felt good off the hands,” she said. “It was great to see the ball go in.”
“We’re not used to trying to feed just one person so we kind of got out of sorts in that first quarter,” Ratliff said. “Between quarters I told them to relax and play their game in the second.”
Ratliff said that Whalen has always been a constant for the Lions since she was called up to the varsity squad as an eighth grader.
“You know what you are going to get from her,” Ratliff said. “She is even keel and she has become more vocal as a leader. She is aggressive on defense and averaging six steals a game. She plays two or three positions on offense and she can play all five positions on defense.”
Ratliff said he felt the moment as well as his players.
“I think that I was more nervous than she was,” he said.
Now with the milestone in the rear view, Whalen said she is ready to focus on a combined goal of the Lady Lions - to again hoist the Section VII/Class D trophy over their heads, as they did a season ago.
“I am looking forward to focusing more on playing as a team and helping the younger players to improve to help our team,” she said.