Three seniors, Delone Catholic's Brett Smith, Northeastern's Khalid Nwandu and West York's Sarah Shearer reached 1,000 career points within a week. For Nwandu and Shearer, it happened on the same night. Monday, to be exact.

But for Shearer, there were a few detours before she reached the grand plateau.

It all started in December during the championship game of the York Suburban holiday tournament, when Shearer came down on her ankle awkwardly. At first, she thought it was just a sprain. Then it swelled and turned purple.

That was just the beginning for a West York girls' basketball team adjusting to life in Division I of the YAIAA. The Division II champions from a year ago had D-I stalwarts Dallastown and Red Lion on the horizon, but to make matters worse, a flu bug spread just as the Bulldogs lost their leading scorer.

"Right when we got back to school, one girl got it," coach Jon Shultz said. "We tried to stay sanitized, but it only takes one person.

"It hit our whole team," he said. "The whole varsity and JV had that 102 temperature and were throwing up; those type of things."

So as West York was without Shearer, its other four starters were struggling with illness by the time they faced Dallastown two weeks ago.

On top of the injury, Shearer also was sick. By the time the Jan. 4 game at Dallastown arrived, Shearer felt better, but her ankle did not.

Shearer had yet to practice but boarded the school bus for Dallastown ready to play. Having already been told by Shultz and their trainer she had to sit, Shearer still put on her jersey and warm-up gear.


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"I was hoping Coach might let me play," Shearer said.

Shultz added, "It took everything I had to keep her out of that game."

Shearer missed just two games and was back in time for a pivotal Division I win against Red Lion. With the ankle injury behind her, the milestone was within reach. She entered Monday's game at York Suburban four points shy of 1,000.

Once she broke the barrier, it did not immediately register. Shearer noted her Bulldogs trailed when she hit the milestone but admitted after the game she was happy about it.

After all, her high school basketball journey took a turn to Ephrata, where she moved for her freshman and sophomore years, before transferring back to West York. Shultz estimated Shearer was right at 500 career points when she returned as a junior.

"When she came back, she tried to find a role," Shultz said. "She's always been a scorer, but she's gotten a lot better as a defender. Not too many people are going to outwork her, whether that's getting into the weight room at 6 a.m. or getting extra shots in. That's just the type of person she is."

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Next up? South Western senior guard Mike Duffy is only 32 points shy of reach the 1,000 career-point milestone, too.

Such a feat would give the Mustangs two active 1,000-point scorers. Parker Bean reached it last season.

"There's times I think of what it's going to be like without these guys," South Western coach Nate Brodbeck said. "I've been here for five seasons and I've known them for four of them. Those two specifically, when you saw them coming up, you had an idea if they stayed on the right track they could do some good things."

The Mustangs are at Spring Grove tonight and host New Oxford on Saturday. Duffy can become the sixth player in South Western boys' history to reach the milestone, joining Scott Lobach (class of 1975), Adam Bowers (1994), Tom Bingham (2004) and Chad Tipton (2008).

That means Brodbeck can soon have a third of the school's 1,000-point scorers at once. He attributed the trend of more players reaching the feat to the growing number of freshmen playing varsity. Coincidentally, he has one this season in Brock Geiman.

"I think with the development of conditioning and workout programs around, I think that's getting more kids stronger at a younger age," Brodbeck said. "Especially Brock as a freshman. If you would have seen him as a seventh-grader, you would have said no way."
@mgoul; 771-2045