LIZ MCLAUGHLIN is congratulated by coach Dan Chick after reaching 1,000 points for her career. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
February 12, 2017WOLFEBORO — For the early part of the game against Plymouth on Wednesday, Feb. 8, the shots weren't falling for Kingswood's Elizabeth McLaughlin.
However, the Knight senior was able to find her shot and with it, found the 17 points she needed to reach the 1,000-point mark for her career.
McLaughlin drove to the hoop with 1:05 to go in the third quarter to reach 17 points on the night and the 1,000 for her career. She became the second Knight in eight days to reach the mark, following Pat Meyers who did it last week.
"It's a great accomplishment," said Kingswood coach Dan Chick, who has now coached six 1,000-point scorers. "She's a special player and a special young lady.
"It's very fitting that she ends up with 1,000," Chick continued. "A lot goes into it.
"You have to be injury free, have the talent and you have to be healthy," the Knight coach continued.
"They fight," said Plymouth coach Kristin Crotts said of her team, which fell behind early. "I just think we were in our own heads tonight."
Kingswood came out and scored the first four points of the game, all from the hands of Eliza Brault, who hit a free throw and a three-pointer. Jordan Meier hit a pair of free throws for the Bobcats but Kingswood went on an 11-0 run to continue to build the lead.
Michelle Frady hit a free throw to start the run and then Brault finished off a steal with a hoop. McLaughlin got her first hoop of the night and Brault hit another hoop for an 11-2 lead. Meghan Lapar hit a basket and Brault finished off the run by finishing off her own steal and Kingswood's lead was 15-2.
Meier hit another free throw for the Bobcats and Jacky Gaumer also hit a free throw for Plymouth. Hope Roiter answered with a three for the Knights before Emily Boyd got a free throw for Plymouth to close out the first quarter. Kingswood led 18-5 at the break.
McLaughlin got the first four points of the second quarter, as she hit a free throw and then drilled a three-pointer, pushing the lead to 22-5. Meier answered by finishing off her own steal for Plymouth's first field goal of the night.
Another hoop from McLaughlin and two free throws from Brault made it 26-7 before Meier hit another basket for the Bobcats. Kingswood went on an 8-0 run, stated by a McLaughlin hoop. Frady hit two free throws, Emily Skelley put back a rebound and Ashtyn Cameron hit a shot, stretching Kingswood's lead to 34-9.
Meier put back a rebound for the Bobcats but Kingswood got the final four points of the quarter, as Cameron hit a hoop and Frady hit two from the line for a 38-11 lead at the halftime break.
The first five points of the second half went to the Knights, with Brault hitting a hoop and Frady converting a three-point play. Meier got another hoop for the Bobcats before Amanda Lapar and McLaughlin hit back-to-back hoops for the Knight girls.
After a Meier hoop for the Bobcats, Amanda Lapar hit another hoop for Kingswood. Boyd hit a free throw and Meier drained a three-pointer, making it 49-19. Brault put back a rebound for another two points and McLaughlin pulled within two points of 1,000 with a three-point play, making it 54-19.
McLaughlin's next trip down the floor was the big one, as she drove to the hoop and put it in with 1:05 to go in the frame to earn her 1,000th point.
The celebration was tempered a bit when Meier was hurt on McLaughlin's drive to the hoop, but once she came off the floor, the Knights were able to celebrate with their senior co-captain.
Rachelle Peroni hit a free throw for Plymouth and Abby Coulter hit two from the line for the Knights to make it 58-20 after three.
Cameron hit a hoop to open the fourth quarter for Kingswood before Boyd hit a hoop for the Bobcats. Haley Stevens hit for the Knights and Coulter also hit a basket. Amanda Daugherty hit one hoop for Plymouth and Ginny Skelley added the final hoop for Kingswood for the 66-24 final.
"Everybody played well," said Chick. "We weren't going to let up on defense.
"That would be an insult to the other team," the Knight coach said. "We have been in that situation and when we were, I didn't want teams to ease up on us.
"We want to keep on getting better and I think Kristin wants her team to keep getting better too," Chick continued.
"Offensively, everybody was nice and loose except for Liz, understandably so," the veteran coach added. "Leading up to this point, she's been very relaxed. She was trying to get herself going and they weren't falling.
"But she got into the flow of the offense and things started to work for her," Chick added. He also praised the work of Brault and Frady, both on offense and defense.
"We have four games left, we need to get out there and play hard so teams will remember that next year," Crotts noted. "We can't let the end of the season ruin what we want to do going forward."
The first-year Plymouth coach also noted that Meier was a force for her team.
"She's was making the hoops out of nothing," Crotts said. "She's definitely been the one to lead the team.
"She's digging in deep no matter who we're playing or how we're doing," the Bobcat coach continued. "I can't say enough about her in that regard."
McLaughlin led the way for Kingswood with 17 points and Brault added 16 points. Meier led the way for Plymouth with 16 points.
The Knights will be at Bow for a 7 p.m. game on Wednesday, Feb. 22.
The Bobcats will be hosting Merrimack Valley on Friday, Feb. 17, at 6:30 p.m. and then will visit Con-Val on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 6:30 p.m. and Laconia on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. to wrap up the season.
The JV Knights defeated the JV Bobcats by a 36-21 score. Grace Saunders, Sam Tavares and Brynn Davey led KIngswood with six points each and Rachel Fogarty led Plymouth, also with six points.
Stevens 1-0-2, McLaughlin 7-2-17, M. Lapar 1-0-2, Brault 6-3-16, Roiter 1-0-3, Frady 1-6-8, G. Skelley 1-0-2, Coulter 1-2-4, A. Lapar 2-0-4, E. Skelley 1-0-2, Cameron 3-0-6, Totals 25-13-66
Gaumer 0-1-1, Daugherty 1-0-2, Boyd 1-2-4, Peroni 0-1-1, Meier 6-3-16, Totals 8-7-24
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or email@example.com.