Shepaug senior scores 1,000th career point
Published 11:55 am, Wednesday, February 3, 2016
WASHINGTON — Shepaug senior Caroline Kelly recently added to her long list of accomplishments by reaching a career milestone in basketball.
Kelly, a decorated athlete who has been an all-state and all-Berkshire League soccer player and is the defending league singles champion in tennis, scored her 1,000th career point last week against Lewis Mills.
“I’d say the biggest reason I’m able to be successful in multiple sports is due to the fact that I have been playing multiple sports my entire life,” Kelly said. “I grew up playing four sports a year. I would play soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, softball in the spring and tennis in the summer. And I would often be playing more than one at a time, especially during the spring and summer.”
Kelly said her parents always encouraged her to try a variety of sports and it helped her become a well-rounded athlete.
“My parents always encouraged me to play as many sports as I wanted and never pushed me to focus all of my attention to one, so I was able to grow up participating in all different types of athletics, which allowed me to develop talents in each of them,” Kelly said. “As for a favorite, it’s so hard to choose. I genuinely enjoy them all for different reasons, but if I had to choose one, it would probably be soccer.”
Kelly got an early start on racking up varsity points on the hardwood, playing forward as a freshman. The 1,000-point milestone was something she occasionally thought about and she credits her teammates for finally reaching the goal.
“I remember freshman year thinking about the idea of scoring 1,000 points and it seemed so huge and I didn’t think there was a chance I could get there, so when I reached that milestone, it felt amazing,” Kelly said. “But I have to say, it was made 10 times better by having my team alongside me supporting me. They’re the biggest reason why I was able to reach it and so to celebrate with them made it even better.”
The night of the Lewis Mills game everyone involved knew reaching the milestone was a possibility. Kelly was keeping track, students in school were buzzing about it and a countdown banner in the gym that night made sure everyone was aware history was about to be made.
“I knew I was close. I’ve been keeping track all season and in the past few games everyone’s been counting it down. Then the day of the Lewis Mills game, kids were talking about it in school, how I was within 14, so I knew a bunch of students, both high school and middle school, were going to be at the game,” Kelly said. “Then when I got in the gym on [last] Tuesday night, my AD had gotten a big countdown made, that the younger kids used to mark off each point I scored throughout the game. So to say that I was aware would be an understatement.”
Kelly said there was a little added pressure with all of the hype and the game being at home, but she said it was amazing to see all of the support from the school community.
Kelly has helped lead a young team to a 7-8 record and one win shy of locking up a Class S tournament berth and a sport in the Berkshire League tournament.
“I think the season’s going well so far. We’ve had some good wins, as well as some close, tough losses that could’ve gone our way,” Kelly said. “I think heading into the second half of the season we’re in a good position to win some of those games that we dropped in the first half of the season and hopefully get our record up and qualify for the BL and state tournaments. We’re really starting to jell as a team and winning games is really becoming a full-team effort.”
As a senior, Kelly feels a responsibility to pull the team together to make a final push this season. Now with the 1,000-point milestone in the books, Kelly and the team can focus on reaching the postseason.
“In some ways it’s nice that the 1,000-point mark is behind us. The few games leading up to the 1,000-point game everyone was focused on trying to get me to score and help me hit that milestone, which was appreciated but it took away from how we played as a team,” Kelly said. “So I’m looking forward to us being able to focus on the team and really buckle down to get some wins and qualify for both the BL and State tournaments and try and make a run in those.”