Prep basketball notes - Mowen closes in on 1,000

December 20, 2002|by DAN KAUFFMAN

As a freshman, Waynesboro's Kira Mowen set a simple, yet difficult goal for herself - 1,000 points.

Four years later, Mowen's goal may finally be met tonight, as the Maidens host Biglerville.

"It means a lot to me," Mowen said of the mark which is now within reach. "In ninth grade when I started playing varsity, I wanted to be the first girl to score 1,000 in the new milennium."

"I know it means an awful lot to her because of how hard she's worked since sixth or seventh grade," Waynesboro coach Steve Smith said. "This was a goal for her, and she'll be real proud to accomplish it. Scoring 1,000 points, that's a great achievement."

Mowen, who's averaging 13 points per game through the Maidens' first seven games, needs 14 to reach 1,000. Smith hopes the record falls tonight in front of the hometown crowd - Waynesboro next plays at the Hanover Tournament. But Mowen said she won't approach the game any differently just because a milestone is within reach.


"It's always part of the game plan to get me to score," Mowen said. "I'm not going to try to go for it so much that it takes away my concentration, I'm going to go with the flow of the game because that's when I put my points on the board."

Regardless of when she scores her 1,000th point, Mowen will become the fifth girls basketball player to reach the mark for Waynesboro.

It's been a whirlwind last month for Mowen, who verbally committed to play basketball for Illinois - a major-college program and a Big Ten school - five weeks ago.

"Basically, it just happened," Mowen said. "They have been writing to me since I was in 10th grade. I went out there for a camp and fell in love with the place.

"I guess I impressed them in camp. I didn't know they were following me, and when they started coming to games, I was really shocked. And then when they approached me (with the scholarship), I was really excited because that's where I wanted to go."

Her coach couldn't be more excited, either.

"Just to be part of it is a thrill for me," Smith said. "I'm getting my cake and eating it too. She's getting her 1,00th point and she's going to a D-I school, and I've never coached a kid who did either one."

Smith points to Mowen's basketball IQ and court leadership as reasons why Illinois was interested in her.

"I don't think there's a lot of players out there who know and understand the game the way Kira does," Smith said. "She's definitely a second coach out there on the floor, she knows the game of basketball. I know in 11 years of coaching girls basketball, I've never met a kid who understands the game as well as she does."

"I know I was being recruited for point guard position, and the point guard is the second coach on the floor," Mowen said. "I try to help the girls out as much as I can on the floor."

Mowen said she will redshirt her first season at Illinois to get her body and mind better prepared for life in the Big Ten.

"That gives me more time to get built for the Big Ten and learn (Illinois') system," Mowen said. "That will help me a lot, to get into their conditioning and weightlifting program."

But before Mowen looks ahead, she's got a four-year goal to meet, and her 1,000th point to score.

"Her mother and father have really been supportive of her, and with her work ethic, it's not surprising to me, but to know I had a little to do with it ... it's something really special, and I think it means a lot to the people of Waynesboro," Smith said.

We've seen this before ...

If you ask Chambersburg boys basketball coach Shawn Shreffler what the difference between being 5-3 and 2-6 is, he'd likely tell you six points.

He would know.

The Trojans started the season 1-6, but three of those losses - to Central Dauphin East, Central Dauphin and Cumberland Valley - have been by two points each. Central Dauphin and Cumberland Valley both made last-second shots for victories.

Add in a four-point loss to Harrisburg and a five-point loss to Cedar Cliff, and Chambersburg has lost five games by a total of 15 points.

Still waiting ...

After Berkeley Springs guard Andy Omps scored 43 points - including nine 3-pointers - in a 76-67 victory over Hancock on Wednesday, Panthers' boys coach Jeff Spielman summed the night up this way: "We were waiting for Andy Omps to cool off in the second half. I guess it is safe to say that never happened."

Lady Gael Classic

One week before area basketball teams head to a wide variety of holiday tournaments, St. Maria Goretti's girls will host the Lady Gael Classic.

Broadfording, off to a 9-2 start, plays Towson Cathloic tonight at 6, with Goretti (5-3) facing Martinsburg (1-0) at 7:30.

The consolation game will be played Saturday at noon, with the championship scheduled for 1:30.

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