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Aleshire is one of a kind on HJC scoring list

February 02, 1997

By BOB PARASILITI

Staff Writer

Heather Aleshire's basketball game is the type of tale which sells movies.

After all, her first showing was so successful, she has already produced a sequel.

Two years ago as a senior at Clear Spring High School, Aleshire clipped the 2,000-point mark en route to becoming the Tri-State area's high school girls' basketball career scoring leader. On Friday, the Hagerstown Junior College went one better. Aleshire became the first woman in HJC history to score more than 1,000 points in her career.

"I didn't know about this one until the other day when coach (Marlys Palmer) pulled me in her office to tell me about it," Aleshire said Saturday after scoring 24 points to lead the Hawks to a 74-64 victory over arch-rival Frederick Community College. "It's quite an honor. You work so long and hard to (set records), but once you do it, sometimes it's hard to believe."

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Aleshire is kind of like a Hoosiers and Hoop Dreams basketball double feature rolled into one. She was the hot-shot shooter who provided basketball excitement in a small, rural town. At HJC, Aleshire continues her Hoop Dreams quest of playing to reach the goal of earning a major Division I scholarship.

Along the way, she has now set two scoring records and all but assured herself a spot in the Hagerstown Junior College Sports Hall of Fame some day. Aleshire is presently the nation's second-leading scorer for Division II junior colleges.

When Aleshire scored 31 points in Friday's 76-64 victory over Prince George's, she became the eighth HJC athlete to surpass 1,000 points in her career.

"I didn't even think about it on Friday," Aleshire said. "We were down at halftime and I never thought I would score 30 against PG. I came out and hit four 3-point shots in a row and then a couple of layups. I went over to the bench and they told me I was over 1,000 points."

With her 14th point that night, Aleshire surpassed Kathy Orsini's 14-year-old mark of 983 points. Aleshire has 1,025 career points with four regular-season games remaining.

Orsini, now Shenandoah University's women's basketball coach and assistant athletic director, is a member of HJC's Hall of Fame.

"Heather is a tremendous athlete," Palmer said. "She is very similar to Orsini. Orsini was a great shot, but didn't play on that strong of teams and was forced to play most of the minutes. Heather is all over the floor for us but only had to average 28 minutes for us last year and is playing 35 this year. She has made some shots that we just marvel at."

Frederick gave Aleshire the utmost respect on Saturday. The Cougars did their best to shut down the 5-foot-10 forward, holding her scoreless for a 16:07 span. The Hawks filled the void to stay ahead of Frederick and put the game away after Aleshire began scoring again and helped HJC pull away for the win.

"She may not score, but it's important that Heather touches the ball," Palmer said. "Our offense goes through her hands because she can do so many great things with the ball. We ask a lot of Heather. We want her to play with emotion and keep striving. She has the ability to reach for whatever she needs to reach for."

Because of that importance to HJC's offense, Aleshire admits she has little time to think about accomplishments. The main goal Aleshire is reaching for now is to help the Hawks win a Maryland JuCo title and advance to the national tournament, which will be played at HJC's athletic complex.

"Is (setting the record) a big deal? I guess so," Aleshire said. "I haven't had time to think of it. I did it in high school but I didn't look back on it so much until now. It will take time for this to sink in, maybe until after the season. Right now, it just feels good to beat Frederick."

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