On her 59th career game with Sahuaro High School, at 2:34 left in the first quarter tonight against Vista Grande, sophomore Alyssa Brown achieved her “piece of sweetness,” as she put it.
That translates into eclipsing 1,000 points in her burgeoning hoops career. She is now at 1,019 points, finishing with 32 in the 86-24 win for Sahuaro (21-3, 7-1 4A Kino).
She took a pass from Lucky Franke, another sophomore who had 29 points, on the baseline and scored over three defenders to eclipse 1,000 points with 2:34 left in the first quarter. By that time, she already had 14 points.
She was not about to be overcome by the thought of the significant achievement. She looked determined from the start.
“I was open a lot and we shared the ball; we’re very unselfish,” Brown said. “I just happened to be open.”
Sahuaro coach Steve Botkin immediately called a timeout after Brown passed 1,000 points to allow Brown to bask in the celebration.
Her teammates surprised her with congratulatory posters. She was given a bouquet of flowers by her grandmother and she embraced her mom.
Sahuaro sophomore Alyssa Brown comments on eclipsing 1,000 career points tonight. She is now at 1,019 points after scoring 32 in the 86-24 win over Vista Grande tonight. Fellow sophomore Lucky Franke had 29 points. pic.twitter.com/VE8uVgBTik
“It was funny because I didn’t know they had the posters, and then I turned around and they were jumping up and dancing,” Brown said of her teammates.
Brown is on pace to reach 2,000 career points, which is a milestone only seven other players from Southern Arizona have accomplished. Santa Rita standout Paula Pyers was the first to reach 2,082 career points in 1984.
Lute Olson’s granddaughter, Julie Brase of Catalina Foothills, holds the Southern Arizona record with 2,913 points from 1994-1998.
Sahuaro coach Steve Botkin noted that Brown’s unselfish style of passing up sure-shots for teammates with a better look delayed the 6-foot-1 forward from achieving her milestone.
“Fact is, scoring 1,000 is a huge achievement — she probably could have done it a few weeks ago,” Botkin said. “She just wants to win and that’s what’s fun about it. … She does special things with the basketball.
“The fact that she scored 1,000 as a sophomore is pretty special as well. That kind of tells you what kind of athlete she is … She’s a wonderful young lady.”
Botkin has now coached two members of Brown’s family who have reached 1,000 points. Brown’s sister Sydney Harden also eclipsed that mark in 2015-16.
Another sister, Olivia Creech, is an assistant on Botkin’s staff who played for him at Sahuaro through her career that ended in 2011-12.
“The bloodlines are amazing,” Botkin said. “(Olivia) was close to 1,000 rebounds. She was a rebounding machine. She led us with 12 to 13 rebounds a game.”
Brown said a goal of hers is reaching 1,000 rebounds for a career. Botkin mentioned he must tabulate her stats but thinks she is “right now on track” with that objective.
She also is shooting for 2,000 career points.
“It will be very special reaching that,” Brown said. “My sister (Syndey Harden) is my role model and she scored 1,500 points.”
She also said with a smile, “I want to pass her both for bragging rights and how special that is.”