Lindsey Smith: Close misses need recognition
If you looked at the scoreboard during the fourth quarter of Southern Fulton’s second-round PIAA game against Constitution, with the Indians down by 25, you could tell the game was essentially over.
Southern Fulton’s Trent Rider also knew that he was 11 points away from scoring his 1,000th-career point in his final game in an Indian uniform.
But not unlike the vast majority of high school basketball players, Rider walked off the court after his final game without scoring 1,000 points.
He was tantalizingly close, though, and that’s something to be celebrated.
Every year, students put immense pressure on themselves to get their name on a banner in their home gym and a front-page headline.
More often than not, that banner remains blank, but that’s not to say their achievements should be overlooked.
This year Franklin and Fulton Counties saw seven players reach 1,000 points for their career - an unusually high number - and other records broken, but we also had some near misses that still deserve recognition.
Rider, one of the best baseball pitchers in the area, returned for his senior season on the Southern Fulton boys basketball team with his 1,000th point in mind. And while he fell just short of his goal - finishing with 989 points - the sheer fact that he was so close to that magic number speaks volumes to his athletic abilities.
Greencastle-Antrim’s Jenay Faulkner achieved her 1,000th-point milestone early this season, but the Blue Devils’ season ended before she could add a few more achievements to her record book - 100 3-pointers and 100 assists in one season.
Heading into the second round of the PIAA Class AAA girls tournament, Faulkner had hit 99 3-pointers, but after being matched up against a talented defense, Faulkner was shut down, and shot 0-5 from beyond the arc.
But with that being said, she averaged more than three treys per game, well above any other 3-point shooter in the area.
She also ended the season with 99 assists, therefore averaging 3.5 assists per game, all the while leading her team in scoring.
Faulkner has another year ahead of her with more goals and records in mind. She is just 56 points away from breaking the Greencastle girls scoring record (1,420 by Kylene Helman), and 248 points from the school’s all around scoring title (1,612 by Dave Hann).
Another junior who has the opportunity to improve on her already proven success is Waynesboro’s Chelsea Cover. She finished the season with 91 assists, averaging 4.3 per game, and she also had 49 steals.
Like Faulkner and Cover, Southern Fulton’s Dylan Gordon also got close to 100 assists, finishing with 94.
Aaron Rump, a Chambersburg wrestler at 126 pounds, entered the PIAA Wrestling Championships with 99 career wins and the pressure of achieving the milestone on a state-wide stage.
But Rump, a junior who had separated his shoulder in districts two weeks prior, lost his preliminary round and consolation bouts at the championships, ending his season stuck at 99 wins.
He has another year to earn that 100th victory, and I’m sure, after sitting on it for an entire season, there's a good chance he'll get it in his first bout of the season.