Nottingham reaches 1,000 in Senior Night winJanuary 23, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
JASPER — Jasper checked off all the boxes Thursday night.
The Wildcats (10-11) pulled through for a 44-33 win against Evansville Reitz, on Senior Night, with senior Brooke Nottingham becoming the sixth Jasper girls basketball player to score 1,000 points in her career.
Nottingham didn’t get many looks for much of Thursday’s first half. Her first three points came from free throws. Then senior Claire Knies dished a pass to her that she knocked down from beyond the arc, making it official. She finished the night with a game-high 19 points, and is now up to 1,014 in her career.
“I knew that tonight was likely that I would get it,” Nottingham said. “I just went out there and played my game like I know I can, so, nothing too much different.”
Knies and fellow senior Lexie Jerger chased after Nottingham, extending their arms to hug her as the first ones to congratulate her for the achievement. The game stopped at 3:37 in the second quarter to honor the moment. Junior varsity players, teammates, coaches and fans all gave Nottingham an ovation as she was acknowledged for her achievement. Jasper athletic director Brian Lewis presented Nottingham with a basketball in honor of the feat. Nottingham said after the game that the ball would be given to Jasper art teacher Josh Dodd for him to paint that commemorates the milestone.
“We were just so proud of Brooke and she’s an awesome player,” Knies said. “After that, we were just really pumped up. I think we built off of that to win the game.”
“We were just really proud of her and she obviously really deserves it,” Jerger said.
Wildcats coach Jessica Mehringer praised Nottingham for being unselfish and being a really good point guard who gets the offense started. Mehringer added how effective Nottingham is in transition and scoring.
“I’m really happy for her because she’s just a gym rat,” Mehringer said. “She’s worked super hard for a long time on her game.”
Nottingham, Knies, Jerger and Isabelle Blazey were all honored before the game with the Senior Night festivities. The lights dimmed in the gym as the four players shared favorite quotes and memories in a video package that was played prior to the game.
Blazey got emotional after the game, as she’s gotten to play for her father, Scott, the junior varsity coach and a varsity assistant.
“It was really sad,” Isabelle said. “Whenever I hugged him, it hard me pretty hard — just him being with me for so many years.”
The Wildcats made things happen towards the end of the first half, taking a 27-16 lead into the locker room at halftime. They built a 16-point lead in the third quarter. The Panthers chipped into that lead a bit, though, going on a 10-0 run from the end of the third to the start of the fourth, but a 3-pointer by Knies stopped the bleeding to make it 37-28, and the Wildcats went on their own run to extend the lead.
“I felt like we took care of the ball better after that,” Knies said.
The four seniors will have Tuesday be one final game in their home gym against Princeton. They’ve enjoyed getting to play there for the past four years, and appreciate the people that have come out to watch them. All of them will miss playing with one another.
The quartet and the rest of their teammates can still finish the regular season with a winning record. It starts Saturday at Mount Vernon before coming back home for the regular season finale against the Tigers.
“We’re going to be looking at game film and some of the little things that we talked to them about after the game today is how we’re passing the ball when we’re pressured and how we’re catching the ball when we’re pressured,” Mehringer said about Friday. “So, we’re going to watch some film and point some of those things out to these guys and then we’re going to work on it in practice.”
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