Warriors’ Brown scores 1,000th point in win over Handley

Heidi Brown

STEPHENS CITY – Sherando senior Heidi Brown tried not to think about the milestone sitting within her reach when the Warriors took the court against visiting Handley on Friday night. But when it came, Brown breathed a sigh of relief.

The senior eclipsed 1,000 points in her career in Sherando’s 48-41 Northwestern District win over the Judges, becoming the second Warrior to accomplish the feat this season, joining teammate and fellow senior Jess Hakel.

“It is a really nice feeling because you like to get it out of the way,” said Brown, who finished with a game-high 27 points in the win. “Coming into the season I really wasn’t expecting to get it, but then as time went on it got closer and closer. These last couple games, it was a goal of mine. It’s definitely a good feeling.”

Brown needed 25 points to reach the mark entering Friday, and she cut that number by more than half in the first two quarters when she scored 14 points to help stake Sherando (11-9) a 25-15 halftime lead.

Handley opened the third period with a 6-0 run to force a timeout by the Warriors, and Brown answered the Judges’ run by converting a traditional three-point play to give Sherando a 28-21 lead with 6:06 left in the third period.

Brown extended the Warriors’ advantage to 34-23 with a 3-pointer just over a minute later, and a free throw later in the quarter pulled Brown within three points of the milestone. The senior scored her 1,000th point when she rattled in a 3 from the wing with 1:05 left in the third, giving Sherando a 38-29 lead.

Warriors head coach Mike Marsh called a timeout with 49 seconds left in the frame, during which Brown received a standing ovation from the crowd and was awarded the game ball.

“It was like a big adrenaline rush,” Brown said. “I was just thinking that the hard work pays off. It was good for recognition and everything. It was a good moment.”

“Heidi worked hard all year. She worked hard all off-season to be able to play the entire season like she has and play hard,” Marsh said.

Sherando pushed its lead back to double digits midway through the fourth period following a made free throw by Allison Combs, but Handley cut the lead back to seven with a 3 from Angelica Robinson.

The Warriors increased the lead to 48-36 with 2:40 to play with a 5-0 run that featured four points from Hakel before the Judges closed the game with its own 5-0 spurt.

Sherando held Handley to a 32.7-percent (17 for 52) shooting mark from the floor in the game and forced 19 turnovers, and the Judges were just 4 for 17 from the floor in the fourth period.

“Allison [Combs] has been reserve all year and she stepped into a role tonight and I thought she played amazing,” Marsh said. “I thought she was the key to our defense. She stopped everything in the middle. She rebounded. She played a half and she had more rebounds (10) than anybody else on the floor except for [Robinson].”

Marsh also noted Brown’s defense against Robinson as a big bonus for the Warriors on Friday night. Robinson finished with 19 points and an astounding 27 rebounds, but she was held to only two points from the field in the first half and was 1 for 10 from the floor during that span.

“[Brown] had her 25 [points] and had Robinson around 10 or 12, playing defense on a great player and still able to get down the floor and stay on top of her offensive game,” Marsh said. “To me that was by far her best game of the year because she played on both ends of the floor very, very well.”

Hakel finished with 12 points, three assists and four steals for Sherando, while Brown added five rebounds. Sherando shot 35.7 percent (15 for 42) from the field as a team.

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com