Lee's Stephanie Young scores 1,000th point in Wildcats' win
"I thought I was going to take a deep 3-pointer and I was going to make it," Young said after Lee's season-opening win and with 1,000 points safely in her gym bag Monday night. "My dad, he didn't want me to do that because he thought I was going to air-ball it."
Young did neither. She committed the first of her game-high eight steals in the Mount Anthony frontcourt and took it coast-to-coast for the hoop. Fouled on the drive, the Wildcat standout calmly sank the free throw to set off the 1,000-point celebration.
By the end of the evening, Young was on the bench, having scored 21 points and snared 10 rebounds in the Wildcats' season-opening 55-28 victory over the visitors from Vermont.
Young outscored the Patriots 9-2 in a first quarter where the Wildcats blitzed the visitors 18-2.
"You watch from the stands like when you're a third grader and you see a Kelly McManmon or a Rachelle Walker," said Young, still clutching the traditional balloon bouquet given to a thousand-point scorer. "You just think of them. It's so amazing that I'm up there now. It's cool. I left my mark on the school."
Young had 13 points at halftime. She made 1 of 2 free throws with 2:50 left in the game to give Lee a 52-26 lead. Twenty seconds later, she and the rest of the Lee starters were done for the night.
Six of her nine points came off Mount Anthony turnovers that she forced.
"She has the skills to do almost anything she wants to," Lee coach Gary Wellington said. "Right now, I think she was playing with a little bit of adrenaline in the first half coming out and just taking it to the hoop for us."
Lee's biggest lead of the game came when Young took a nice pass from Nikki Laudon and drained a trey with 2:26 left. That gave the Wildcats a 32-point lead at 45-13.
Mount Anthony made the long trek from Bennington with a No. 4 preseason Vermont Division I ranking. The Patriots had nine possessions to open the game, committing seven turnovers and going 0 for 2 from the floor.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, scored the game's first 11 points and shot 4 of 7 from the floor. Young made two free throws with 4:04 left in the quarter to put the Wildcats up 11-0.
Makayla Farrara broke the Lee streak with the first two of her team-high 12 points, making it 11-2 with 3:48 left. That was it as the Patriots did not score again in the quarter.
Farrara made a 3-point shot from the left corner to open the second quarter. If the Patriots thought they were going to make a run, the Wildcats erased that thought quickly. Lee answered Farrara's trey with 11 unanswered points and took a 30-9 halftime lead.
It was deja vu in the third quarter as the teams traded baskets to open the stanza. The Wildcats then went on a 10-0 run.
"She had a lot of points in transition off steals and off of our turnovers when we were in transition defense," Mount Anthony coach Courtney Reif said. "She just read our defense when we were in transition."
It was a tough opener for the Patriots, who were without injured point guard Kate Goodell. Reif said her team is trying to find someone to run her team. The Patriots had 21 of their 29 turnovers in the first half.
Young was one of three Wildcats to score in double figures, and all of them scored more than Mount Anthony's Farrara, who had 12. Eileen Dooley scored 14 points as did Laudon, who came off the bench to net her career-high total. Laudon also had three assists.
Hadley Cook chipped in with six rebounds for the Wildcats.
"We came out and played the way we wanted," said Wellington. "There are a few things we have to work on.
"We have to get in better condition, so we can do it for a full 32 [minutes]."
To reach Howard Herman:
On Twitter: @howardherman.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.