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COLUMBUS East senior Allyson Bunch reached a major milestone Tuesday night when she went over the 1,000-point scoring mark for her career.
When Bunch’s Olympians visit Class 4A No. 5 Columbus North tonight, she could be joined on the court by another 1,000-point scorer by the time the night is finished.
Bull Dogs senior Tayler Goodall has 982 career points, meaning she needs just 18 to reach 1,000.
“I haven’t focused on doing that,” Goodall said. “I go in every game and play the way I’m capable of playing. I’m excited, but it’s not something I think about. But that would be pretty awesome, doing that in the East game with everyone here in Columbus.”
A couple other North players are closing in on 1,000 career points. Junior Ali Patberg has 957 going into tonight’s girls game, and senior Evan Henry has 929 going into Friday’s North at East boys game.
“Scoring is not all of it,” Patberg said. “There’s a lot more behind the scenes than just scoring. But it’s a big honor, and me and Tayler both know that. It’s not a big deal to me. I want our team to make our accomplishments that we’ve set.
“Me and Tayler have been playing together since we were 4 years old,” she said. “When we look back on it when we get older, it’s going to mean a lot to us. It means a lot to us now, but we don’t think about that stuff while we’re playing. We’re focused on the team.”
So is Henry.
“To a lot of people, it’s a big deal, but when you look at it, you couldn’t have done it over the four years without help from everyone, from the coaches to the players and everyone,” Henry said. “My teammates do a great job of putting me in the best positions possible.”
Scoring 1,000 points at North is a rare feat. Only three boys at Columbus High School reached that mark, and only 2007 graduate Bobby Hayes with 1,005 points has done it for the North boys.
Seven North girls have reached 1,000 points.
“It’s a big honor,” Patberg said. “There’s not very many people that have done it in our school history, so it means a lot.”
“I think that shows the quality of players and people (Goodall and Patberg) are,” North girls coach Pat McKee said. “They’re terrific players, and they’re also terrific people the way they work hard and do the right things to set themselves up, to set teammates up and setting each other up. Kelsey Cunningham has been with them obviously, and she’s a big part of their success. It’s a credit to them in a big way.”
Bunch scored 17 points Tuesday in East’s 66-43 win at Bloomington North and now has 1,001 for her career.
“It’s an awesome feeling reaching that milestone,” Bunch said. “I’m real happy with myself, but I still have a season to focus on, as does our team.”
Bunch has done it despite missing the first half of last season while recovering from a torn ACL.
“She is just a real good player,” East coach Danny Brown said. “She missed half her junior year, and to still reach a milestone like that is remarkable.”
Two boys players in Columbus could reach 1,000 points by the end of the season. East senior Bryce Lienhoop has 803 points, and North junior Josh Speidel has 699.
“That would be a big achievement,” Speidel said. “I can only thank my teammates. They’re the big reason I’m even in the talk of getting 1,000 points. If that comes, it’s a great accomplishment, but right now, I’m just trying to focus on the team.”
“It’s a luxury to be the coach and have some guys that are very efficient with their scoring,” North boys coach Jason Speer said. “It’s a testament to their hard work. Those two young men (Henry and Speidel) are very determined, and obviously right now, they’re benefiting from the fruits of their own labor. I’m fortunate to be coaching them.”
Henry said he won’t be thinking about reaching the 1,000-point milestone.
“I’m not going to have it in my head, but once it comes, it will be a great feeling,” Henry said.
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