Before Friday night's game, Thomas Heyward Academy girls basketball coach Gary Mazzanna said he hoped his girls could keep Beaufort Academy's Miranda Weslake from reaching her milestone until the fourth quarter.
Instead, the Beaufort Academy junior scored her 1,000th career point on a free throw at the 1:04 mark in the first quarter. If Mazzanna had known what would happen afterward, he likely would have wanted it to come even sooner.
The Rebels outscored the Eagles 48-12 the rest of the way en route to a 61-22 rout at Beaufort Academy.
Weslake -- who came into the game needing seven points for 1,000 -- had trouble getting shots to fall early on, but Thomas Heyward kept sending her to the line. With a student perched in the camera loft holding blue paper signs showing Weslake's career point total, she hit six of her first eight free throws to sit a point away.
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With just more than a minute left in the opening quarter and 999 in the rafters, Weslake made a steal and tried to take it the distance. But Taylor Ernestine fouled Weslake on the way to the hoop, putting her at the stripe to shoot for 1,000.
When her first free throw dropped, the game was halted and Weslake's accomplishment was recognized.
"I really owe it all to my team," Weslake said after the game. "I couldn't have done it without them."
"It's a pleasure to have her," Beaufort Academy coach Joe Matheny said. "She's a hard worker, a coach's dream. She gives everything she's got. Yes, she scores our points, but she's very unselfish and does her best to get everybody involved."
With tears visible, Weslake passed her bouquet of blue and white balloons to her family and the game continued.
But the Eagles never played with the same intensity after the stoppage and the Rebels made them pay. Thomas Heyward pushed the lead to 33-20 at the half. Behind four straight buckets by Jamie Malphrus, the Rebels shut out Beaufort Academy 10-0 in the third quarter.
"We knew we had to cut (Weslake's) looks," said Mazzanna, whose team employed a box-and-one to contain the Eagles star. "We wanted to stop her, and there wasn't any player able to step up."
"We had it going in the beginning," said Weslake, who finished with 12 points. "After I scored it, it seemed like we lost it a little bit."
In the fourth, the Rebels pushed their run to 28-0 before Briley Langerhans hit a putback at the final buzzer to avert a second-half shutout.
"I took my starters out and I just sat there," Matheny said. "I just wanted to watch. They're the defending state champs. If we're going to play at that level, we have to not play scared."
As usual, the Rebels (14-2, 3-0) were led by 24 and 21 points from seniors Malphrus and Brielle Jungblut, respectively.
"The thing that's special about them is that they complement each other, and they incorporate others into their game," Mazzanna said. "I'm happy with how my other girls played, as well. They played hard."
Meanwhile, Matheny knows the Eagles (5-7, 1-2) need to take the next step as a team and Weslake can't always carry the load.
"It's frustrating as a coach that we can't get her enough help."
THOMAS HEYWARD ACADEMY 61, BEAUFORT ACADEMY 22
THA -- Jamie Malphrus 24, Brielle Jungblut 21, Ellie Bryan 6, Taylor Ernestine 6, Liz Bunton 2, Cheyanne Gray 2
BA -- Miranda Weslake 12, Anna Dyer 4, Kiana Fortner 2, Charlotte Delfosse 2, Briley Langehans 2
BEAUFORT ACADEMY BOYS 52, THOMAS HEYWARD 31
In a sloppy game with lots of turnovers and a more-than-healthy dose of chippiness, the Eagles (6-7, 1-2) pushed a tight game at the half to a comfortable win.
"We have a lot of seniors, and I thought we had good composure," Beaufort Academy head coach Chip Dinkins said. "We hunkered down and made plays and helped push the lead up. In the first half, we won the rebounding battle by a huge, huge difference. We kept them off the offensive glass.
"We focused on (JD) Tuten and did an effective job keeping him from taking the game over. And it was a tough environment."
Conner Akers led the Eagles with 14, and Finn Koppernaes scored 11. Preston Suber and Tucker Trask each scored nine.
"We didn't shoot well, we didn't defend well. They just outhustled us," Thomas Heyward head coach Buzz Bonds said.
"(Koppernaes) really hurt us under the bucket. We were focused on Suber and (Koppernaes) hurt us. But they just outplayed us."
THA -- Dylan Tillotson 9, Davis Owens 8, Brennen Fleury 4, Jordan Hughes 4, Evan Duncan 2, Zack Newton 2, Jason Quick 2.
BA -- Conner Akers 14, Finn Koppernaes 11, Preston Suber 9, Tucker Trask 9, Lawton Harper 6, Charles Sanford 3.