By Tommy Keeler Jr.
WOODSTOCK -- With less than four minutes left in Central's game with Manassas Park on Wednesday, one of the referees told Central senior guard Katelyn Poston to hit a 3-pointer and get fouled.
Seconds later it happened, giving Poston a milestone to remember for a lifetime. The 3-pointer gave her 1,192 points, which broke the Central girls basketball career scoring record.
"The ref told me right before that. He was like, 'Hit a 3 and get fouled for me,' and I was like, 'All right'," Poston said with a huge smile after the game. "And that's what ended up happening. So it's really ironic. It wasn't the ref that called the foul."
After the 3-pointer, the game was stopped and Central assistant coach Sarah DiNardo-Swartz gave her the game ball. It was Dinardo-Swartz's record that was broken.
"It means a lot. I worked really hard for mine. Having the opportunity to coach Katelyn for four years, I've been with her since she first came on to varsity," Dinardo-Swartz said. "It means a lot, I'm proud of her. I've gotten closer to her. She's maturing on the court and off the court. It feels nice to be a part of it. I'm a proud coach."
When Poston came out of the game after making the free throw, her smile got even bigger as she was hugged by teammates.
Poston entered the game with 1,167 points and needed 24 to break the record, but she said she wasn't aware that she broke it when she first hit the 3-pointer.
"I thought I still had to make that free throw, so I didn't even realize when I made that, that it was the point that set me over," Poston said. "Once the horn went off [I knew it was the record], because I was going to the free-throw line to shoot that free throw."
Poston said she was really nervous all day, and was receiving good luck texts all day.
She said she listened to music about an hour before the game while having a little shoot-around at her house.
"I listened to music the entire time just trying to tune out the world," Poston said.
Poston had seven points in the first half, and admitted after the game she was a little worried it might not happen. She quickly made up for it in the second half. Poston scored on two layups in the first minute of the third quarter.
She hit a 3-pointer and two more layups, which moved her within four points of the record. It also pushed her into second-place on Central's scoring list, as she passed her former coach Stephanie Lane-Cooper (1,183 points).
Poston scored on another layup, and hit in a runner in the lane with 4:11 left in the game to pull within one of tying the record. The record-breaking 3-pointer came with 3:26 left in the game.
"It's overwhelming because I was so nervous all day that I was going to choke," Poston said. "Then to finally break it just feels like a big burden has been lifted off my shoulders. It's an amazing feeling, and I'm definitely grateful and thankful for it. I know I couldn't have done it without God and my teammates and family and everybody's support around here."
Central coach Mallory Skarupa-Minster said that while the record was important, she didn't want Poston or her teammates to think about it too much.
"I told her, 'Listen, you need to run the offense and run it through,'" Skarupa-Minster said. "'You're going to get your opportunities, but don't force it.'
"She certainly deserves it as far as running our offense, everyone knows that our offense runs through No. 2 [Poston]."
Poston said she thanked her teammates after the game for helping her to get the record.
Dinardo-Swartz was coached by Roger Wilkins, and he also coached Poston as a freshman. He said that there were a lot of similarities in their games.
"For me personally, I coached both of them, both of them were deadly and could shoot the ball very well," Wilkins said in an interview last week. "They could just nail the 3-pointers and the two-pointers and free throws. They were just great, great shooters. Both of them were very aggressive basketball players, very knowledgeable players and both of them have that will and desire to win at all costs. They'll do whatever it takes. They would do anything for their teams to win."
Poston finished the game with 26 points, and now has 1,193 for her career. She said she doesn't have a number in mind that she would like to finish with, but the most important thing now is for the team to be successful.
"It's just really an overwhelming feeling, but I'm definitely grateful for it," Poston said. "It's not going to stop here, I have plenty more to go."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd