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Elizabeth Whitney reaches 1,000 points for Easthampton

  • Kristen Windoloski of Easthampton, left, drives past Summer Foncier of Turners Falls Monday in Easthampton.

    Kristen Windoloski of Easthampton, left, drives past Summer Foncier of Turners Falls Monday in Easthampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton receives flowers from Jeff Sealander, the school's athletic director, after scoring her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton.

    Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton receives flowers from Jeff Sealander, the school's athletic director, after scoring her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, right, is congratulated by her teammates after she scored her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton.

    Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, right, is congratulated by her teammates after she scored her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, top, draws a foul from Tanisha Sanders of Turners Falls Monday in Easthampton.

    Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, top, draws a foul from Tanisha Sanders of Turners Falls Monday in Easthampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, right, scores her 1000th career point Monday against Turners Falls in Easthampton.

    Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, right, scores her 1000th career point Monday against Turners Falls in Easthampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, center, right, is surrounded by her teammates after scoring her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton.

    Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, center, right, is surrounded by her teammates after scoring her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton gets a hug from Jay Fortier, her team's head coach,after scoring her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton.

    Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton gets a hug from Jay Fortier, her team's head coach,after scoring her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, right, receives flowers from her brother, Nicholas Whitney, and balloons from her mother, Katie Peck, after scoring her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton.

    Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, right, receives flowers from her brother, Nicholas Whitney, and balloons from her mother, Katie Peck, after scoring her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, right, gets a hug from her mother, Katie Peck, as her brother, Nicholas Whitney, looks on after scoring her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton.

    Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, right, gets a hug from her mother, Katie Peck, as her brother, Nicholas Whitney, looks on after scoring her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Rachel Connell of Easthampton, right, goes to the basket against Brittany York of Turners Falls Monday in Easthampton.

    Rachel Connell of Easthampton, right, goes to the basket against Brittany York of Turners Falls Monday in Easthampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Kelly Avard of Easthampton, top, shoots over Tanisha Sanders of Turners Falls Monday in Easthampton.

    Kelly Avard of Easthampton, top, shoots over Tanisha Sanders of Turners Falls Monday in Easthampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Rachel Connell of Easthampton, right, moves the ball against Katelyn Dodge of Turners Falls Monday in Easthampton.

    Rachel Connell of Easthampton, right, moves the ball against Katelyn Dodge of Turners Falls Monday in Easthampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Kristen Windoloski of Easthampton, left, drives past Summer Foncier of Turners Falls Monday in Easthampton.
  • Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton receives flowers from Jeff Sealander, the school's athletic director, after scoring her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton.
  • Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, right, is congratulated by her teammates after she scored her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton.
  • Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, top, draws a foul from Tanisha Sanders of Turners Falls Monday in Easthampton.
  • Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, right, scores her 1000th career point Monday against Turners Falls in Easthampton.
  • Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, center, right, is surrounded by her teammates after scoring her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton.
  • Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton gets a hug from Jay Fortier, her team's head coach,after scoring her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton.
  • Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, right, receives flowers from her brother, Nicholas Whitney, and balloons from her mother, Katie Peck, after scoring her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton.
  • Elizabeth Whitney of Easthampton, right, gets a hug from her mother, Katie Peck, as her brother, Nicholas Whitney, looks on after scoring her 1000th career point Monday during a game against Turners Falls in Easthampton.
  • Rachel Connell of Easthampton, right, goes to the basket against Brittany York of Turners Falls Monday in Easthampton.
  • Kelly Avard of Easthampton, top, shoots over Tanisha Sanders of Turners Falls Monday in Easthampton.
  • Rachel Connell of Easthampton, right, moves the ball against Katelyn Dodge of Turners Falls Monday in Easthampton.

The Easthampton senior center became the 14th player in the school’s history to surpass the milestone in leading the Eagles to a 56-34 victory over Turners Falls.

“That’s the point it set in that I might be able to get there, but certainly not my freshman year,” she said. “It was in my head early in the game that this could be the night, but I tried not to think about it too much. There was quite a difference in the defense between them and Athol on Friday night, so I could sense that advantage.”

Whitney’s 15th of 22 points placed her right at 1,000. She’s the sixth Easthampton girls player to join the club.

“I couldn’t have done this without Coach (Jay) Fortier. He’s really helped me develop into the player I am now,” she said. “All my thanks go to him, my teammates, and my family, which has been very supportive with all the offseason basketball I play.”

Whitney scored her game-high 22 points with 13 rebounds and five assists in a little over a half of action. She ran off 16 consecutive points for the Eagles, and reached the milestone within that stretch.

“Not a bad night,” said Fortier, who has coached several of the thousand-point scorers at the school. “We accomplished everything we wanted. We changed the look a little bit because they were also focusing heavily on Elizabeth.

“We brought a player through the middle to see if that would bring a defender away from her, and it worked,” he added. “After that it opened her up, and Elizabeth is very capable to running off a string of points like that.”

With just over four minutes remaining in the second quarter, Whitney received a post feed from Kristen Windoloski, made a move to beat the double-team and converted a push shot off the glass to set off the celebration.

“It feels great to be able to accomplish this here at home, where so many great things have happened in my career,” Whitney said. “It’s also good to get it done early in the game and also early in the season so we don’t have to worry about it and just play team basketball.”

Needing 76 points entering the season, she is averaging 20.8 points over the first four games for Easthampton (3-1).

Whitney’s all-around game was on display from the tip. She used an assortment of post moves and showed her deft touch from the line, making all six of her free throw attempts.

“She is as hard a worker as any kid I’ve ever had, just a great kid and a tremendous leader,” Fortier said. “It’s not easy for her because she’s not that big. So she needs to work extremely hard for everything she gets. I have to basically drag her out of the gym on many nights. She’s always the first one in and the last to leave. She’s always working on her moves, her shooting.”

Windoloski knocked down three 3-pointers in the first quarter, which effectively stretched the defense and gave Whitney more room to operate. Windoloski finished with 15 points, all from beyond the arc.

“We rely on shooters, especially Kristen, to open things up for the offense,” Whitney said. “She hits a lot of them for us, and that was definitely important” Monday.

It was during that part of the game when the Eagles pulled away. They held a 34-17 advantage at the half, and Whitney scored her final basket early in the third before being taken out for the remainder of the contest.

“That’s what we were trying to do, to get it done as early as possible,” said Fortier. “Then we were able to take her out, which is important because we have three games this week. I’d love to have her play 32 minutes, but at this point that’s not smart. There will be games when she’ll need to play the whole way.”

A pair of 3-pointers from Windoloski made it 44-21 Easthampton, and the lead grew to as much as 29 early in the fourth.

One area of concern for the Eagles was the number of free throw attempts they allowed. The Indians scored 11 of their final 15 points from the line, but hurt their own cause by missing 16 foul shots.

Jenna Putala led Turners with 13 points.

“I wasn’t completely happy with how we played,” said Fortier. “I didn’t think we were at our best defensively, which got Elizabeth in some foul trouble because she had to cover up for some mistakes. So we have quite a bit of work to do, but we’re getting better. We had better play at the point, which is a huge key for our season. I don’t think we’re really good yet, but to be 3-1 isn’t bad.”

Michael Wilkinson can be reached at mwilkinson@gazettenet.com.

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