Piper Hensley made four 3-pointers during Crothersville’s 56-38 victory over Edinburgh on Thursday night, but she’ll probably remember the second one the most.
With 2:26 left in the first quarter, Hensley swished a 3 from the top of the key, giving her team an 8-4 lead and pushing her career scoring total over the 1,000-point mark.
The senior finished with 15 points and now has 1,009 career points, adding her name to the short list of Crothersville girls basketball players who reached that mark. Only Katrina Christian (1,665), Brooke Prather (1,165), Sarah Turner (1,152), Liz Otte (1,067), Courtney Killey (1,054) and Amber Lucas (1,054) had previously scored as many points.
Given that Hensley holds all of the school’s 3-point shooting records, reaching the milestone with a long-distance shot only made sense.
“I was hoping that was how it was going to happen,” Hensley said after the game. “Now, I can relax.”
Hensley actually made her first four 3-point attempts and had 13 early points to help Crothersville grab a 20-14 lead in the second quarter.
The Tigers then found themselves in a dogfight with a feisty Edinburgh squad during the remainder of the first half.
The Lancers scored the second half’s first basket to pull to within a point of Crothersville before the game turned.
Powered by Maddie Riley and Grace Wilson, the Tigers owned the third quarter by going on a decisive 19-2 run. During a 9:56 span over the third and fourth quarters, Crothersville held Edinburgh scoreless.
“I’ve been preaching to the girls that we’ve been letting down in the third quarter,” Crothersville coach Kevin Hensley said. “We didn’t let up tonight.”
Riley scored eight points during the run, while Wilson added four more. Rebekah Cook scored three on an and-one, Hensley had a jumper and Makinzee Isley contributed two free throws.
Suddenly ahead 50-31, the Tigers were able to relax during the fourth quarter and start thinking of Christmas.
“We wanted to try to come out of here with a win going into the break,” coach Hensley said.
Thursday’s win improved the Tigers’ record to 10-5 — the fifth straight season that Crothersville has reached double-digit wins.
“We’ve been struggling a little with who we are as a team, so (10 wins) is a good accomplishment,” coach Hensley said.
Besides Hensley, Isley (12 points) and Riley (10 points) led Crothersville’s scoring.
The Tigers dominated the boards, outrebounding Edinburgh by a 45-29 count. Isley had a game-high 12 rebounds, followed by Riley’s eight and Nihna Burton’s seven.
After scoring on a short jumper a minute into the third quarter, Piper’s scoring stopped for the night. The fact that her milestone was part of a victory made it even sweeter.
“I’m glad to get it before the break,” she said. “I definitely wouldn’t have been as happy if it happened in a loss.”
Her dad couldn’t help thinking of all of the work that got his daughter to this point.
“She has worked really hard on becoming a 3-point shooter,” he said. “She would steal my car keys to go to the gym by herself to get her shots in. I’m proud of all of the work she has put in to become what she is. Now that she’s gotten this behind her, she can just play.”