Archive for Wednesday, January 8, 2003

Edmonds etched into MHS record book

Senior breaks girls basketball scoring record with 807 points; wants to hit 1,000

January 8, 2003

It shouldn't have been a shock to anyone when Courtney Edmonds broke the McLouth High girls basketball scoring record earlier this season.

After all, the senior did play with NBA stars in her back yard as a little girl.

An avid basketball card collector, Edmonds would put her NBA cards in two piles. With her eyes closed, she would pick a player from each pile. Those two athletes would then "play" each other on the Edmonds' outside court. With Edmonds as the shooter, each star would have a shot at a basket. Whichever player she liked better would get Edmonds' better shots.

"Sometimes the bad person won, but that was very rarely," Edmonds said.

Long after those days in the back yard, Edmonds was shooting her own shots. On Dec. 10 against Troy, one of her most notable attempts fell. Edmonds scored her 807th point at MHS, putting her ahead of Jennifer Barton, who had the school record since 1994.

Edmonds didn't know about the record until the Maranatha game Dec. 6.

But McLouth coach Vicki Bechard was aware after compiling stats last season.

Needing 30 points to tie the record, Edmonds tallied just that in the second home game against Maranatha. The senior averaged 12.8 in her previous three years and had never scored 30 in a game before.

"When she was one point shy, I was about to have a heart attack because I wasn't prepared for that," Bechard said.

Barton didn't play varsity as much as Edmonds her freshman year, but Edmonds missed a few games at the beginning of her first year because of a broken finger. Last year, she sprained her ankle with five games left, limiting her output for the remainder of the season.

In her first three years of high school, Edmonds averaged 12.8 points. This year, she's averaging 17 points,12.7 rebounds, three steals and three assists.

But Bechard would like Edmonds to be even more aggressive with the ball.

"I'd like her to step up a little bit more," Bechard said. "We've worked with when to penetrate and when to kick it back out. I think she's done a really good job of that."

With 874 points, Edmonds needs 126 to reach another goal of hers -- the 1,000 point club. At McLouth, she would be alone in that group, as no boys player has reached that mark. At least 15 games remain, so Edmonds would need to average 8.4 in those games for that plateau.

"That's a nice milestone for any high school player," Bechard said.

Compiling the statistics also has been a joy for Bechard.

"It's been kind of fun," she said. "I'm kind of a stat queen."

Edmonds has been registering strong stats in other sports, too, as she thrives in cross country and track. Last May, Edmonds won her second straight state 800-meter race and took third in the 1,600. She's also a two-time Class 2A state medalist in cross country.

Success as a runner, though, has given Edmonds problems in deciding what to do when college calls in the fall.

The Bulldog senior has received letters from Kansas State, Wichita State and Kansas to run cross country and track, while smaller schools such as Benedictine and Fort Hays State have showed interest in her basketball abilities as well.

Edmonds has participated in Marian Washington's basketball camps for years and would like to play for the longtime Jayhawk coach. She will inquire about walking on for basketball if she receives a scholarship to run at KU. Edmonds, though, said she had to be realistic.

"I always wanted to play for a big team," Edmonds said. "As a little kid, you don't know what all goes into that.

"In the last year and a half, I've been trying to stay on reality's side."

Later this winter, Edmonds will take a campus visit to Coastal Carolina, a smaller NCAA Division I school in South Carolina.

Wherever she goes, Edmonds would love to play basketball -- and run.

"I'd like to have both, but you can't always have everything you want," Edmonds said.

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