Tuesday Night wasn’t just another league game for the Kenmore East Lady Bulldogs Basketball team.
The Lady Bulldogs (2-0, 4-1) drove up to Lewiston-Porter to take on the Lady Lancers for their first road game of the season. Not only did they pick up their fourth win in a row, the Lady Bulldogs also saw their captain Kendall Mills make history.
Mills became the fifth girls’ basketball player in Kenmore East history to score 1,000 points in their career, leading her team to a 66-34 win over Lew-Port.
With less than two minutes left in the game, all starters but Mills headed to the bench. The senior was only five points away from being a part of school history.
Mills was defending the Lew-Port guard with the ball and saw she was handling the ball a bit loosely. So, Mills decided to take a chance and swipe the ball. The gamble paid off as Mills grabbed the loose ball and ran down the court for an easy layup. Three points away.
On the next possession, Mills grabbed an offensive rebound and successfully completed the put back. But for Mills with under a minute to go there was no time to waste. She stayed down to defend the Lancer’s ensuing in-bound pass. Mills read the pass, picked it off and took it the short distance to go for the mark making shot.
“I’ve been watching Kenmore East Lady Basketball basically since I was born,” Mills said about the reaching the 1,000 career point mark. “It means a lot.”
Coming into the night, Mills needed 20 points to reach the mark. The senior along with the rest of her team got off to a slow start and Mills had already picked up two fouls in the opening quarter. But thanks to the Bulldogs’ strong defense, Ken-East led 37-15 at the half and Mills was nine points away from the mark.
The Bulldogs’ defense let a few Lew-Port buckets fall to start the third quarter. But with Mills leading way the Dogs kept a 57-23 lead heading into the fourth.
Not only did Kendall Mills become the fifth girl in school history to reach the mark, she also became the second to do so from her own family. Kendall’s older sister Kacie reached the mark when she played for the Lady Bulldogs from 2003-2006. Kacie Mills ended her career with 1,169 points.
Kendall joins 1,000 point club members Joelle Pollack, Maria Atti and PJ McTigue, who were all coached by Jack Blanch.
Even though Kendall was second in the family to reach the mark, she stated when it’s all said and done she wants to be first in career buckets. “I couldn’t be happier to be up there with (Kacie), now I can strive to beat her,” Mills said.
In attendance for the big night were Kendall’s parents, George and Betsy. As well as her older sisters Kacie and Emily, both of whom played basketball at Kenmore East. “It was a special night for the family,” Blanch said.
“It’s a nice night for Kendall.” Blanch said after the game. “She’s a leader. We’re really lucky to have her, it’s been a real pleasure to have her and her sisters.”
Despite the individual accomplishment, Mills made it quite clear after the game that she had a lot of help along the way, saying “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. They were pushing me every day in practice and tonight to get it.”
Mills and her teammates will be back in action on Tuesday as they head to Niagara Wheatfield to take on the Falcons (1-1, 2-1) for an NFL league game at 6:30pm.
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