By Jeff Nations
STRASBURG -- Alesha Adams had a vision in her mind of what this moment would be like.
Heading into Friday night's Bull Run District game at Strasburg just 10 points from breaking the school's career scoring mark, the Warren County senior had visions of a sweet jump shot swishing through the net as the crowd stood up and roared behind her.
It didn't work out quite like that, but Adams got that record nonetheless in the closing seconds of the first half against the Rams. Instead of a jumper, Adams snapped a brief tie for the school's scoring mark, previously held since 1995 by Brandie Dodson, with a drive into the paint for a short jumper. Adams' leaner hit the back iron, went straight up and hung there for just a moment before dropping in with about seven seconds left in the half.
"I thought maybe, you know, maybe shooting a jump shot on the side," Adams said. "This was like a drive in, hoping, the ball bouncing ever so slightly and then going in. I was like, 'Whew.'"
The 6-foot guard/forward had taken aim at Dodson's career scoring record of 1,223 points before the season and has been steadily closing in all year. Of all the points Adams has scored in her career -- and with 16 points in the Wildcats' 60-39 win, she's at 1,230 and counting -- perhaps none were tougher than that basket.
"I think I would have been happy with it any way, but I guess I am happy that I got it on a drive," Adams said. "Rather than a stand-still shot, it gets a little more adrenaline in it and the crowd's more into it, which was so great for us."
Adams, who's verbally committed to play at Christopher Newport University next year, did seem a bit tense from the start. She chipped off two points on her first attempt of the night, then didn't connect again until her fifth shot with a spin move in the lane for a short jumper.
"She was a little tense to start the game," Warren County coach John Kelly said. "She knew she needed 10 points, and you could tell. After that, her shoulders sagged and you could tell she was much more relaxed out there. We turned to her to be our point guard in the second half, which is tougher, and she played well for us."
Adams added a free throw in the first quarter to get five of the 10 points she needed, then hit a jumper and drew a foul for a three-point play early in the second half. Adams went cold again, but finally got her chance at the free-throw line with 2:46 to go in the half. She missed the first, but hit the second to tie Dodson.
"Before the game I was nervous about it because I knew coming in that it would be a big thing," Adams said. "But when I go onto the floor, I knew I had to just totally not think about it or it would probably mess me up. So didn't think about it too much until I started hearing people when I was getting close to two, but I got it."
It took some more time, but Adams beat the clock with that runner to go into the halftime break with the record all her own. Kelly couldn't get a time out until less than a second showed on the clock, but the brief celebration on the bench and in the locker room -- Adams was hoisted up by her teammates and mobbed by hugs -- was a memorable one.
"I have a great team," Adams said. "They really make me feel special when I accomplish some things, and that's so great to have behind me."
Contact Sports Editor Jeff Nations at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or firstname.lastname@example.org>