Kayla Henry scores 1,000th point for Belchertown girls basketball w/video

  • As Kayla Henry, of Belchertown, approaches her 1000th career point, fans applaud as a pair of students monitor her progress Thursday in Belchertown. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Henry, of Belchertown gets a high five from assistant coach Manuela LeBlanc after scoring her 1001st career point during a game against Sci-Tech, Thursday in Belchertown. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Henry, of Belchertown gets a hug from assistant coach Melissa Gramugila after scoring her 1001st career point during a game against Sci-Tech, Thursday in Belchertown. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Henry, of Belchertown gets a hug from assistant coach Melissa Gramugila after scoring her 1001st career point during a game against Sci-Tech, Thursday in Belchertown. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Henry, of Belchertown, gets a hug from her dad, John Henry, after scoring her 1001st career point during a game against Sci-Tech, Thursday in Belchertown. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Lauren LeBlanc, Lindsay Fleming, Kayla Henry, Tina Henry, John Henry —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Henry, left, of Belchertown, gets gifts from teammate Cara McKenzie after scoring her 1001st career point during a game against Sci-Tech, Thursday in Belchertown. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Henry, left, of Belchertown, gets gifts from teammate Cara McKenzie after scoring her 1001st career point during a game against Sci-Tech, Thursday in Belchertown. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Melissa Gramugila, Matt Stenuis, Kayla Henry, Jason Woodcock, Bill Vosbourgh, Manuela LeBlanc —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Matt Stenuis, Kayla Henry —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Henry, of Belchertown, with classmates after scoring her 1001st career point during a game against Sci-Tech, Thursday in Belchertown. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Henry fans hold orange Ks as she approaches her 1000th career point Thursday in Belchertown. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • A banner is revealed after Kayla Henry, of Belchertown, scored her 1001st career point during a game against Sci-Tech, Thursday in Belchertown. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Henry, of Belchertown, scores her 1,001st career point on this layup Thursday. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Henry, top right, of Belchertown, celebrates her 1,001st career point during a game against Sci-Tech, Thursday in Belchertown. Henry had 25 points in the Orioles’ 49-28 win. Visit gazettenet.com for more photos. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Henry, of Belchertown, eyes the basket as she prepares to score her 1001st career point during a game against Sci-Tech, Thursday in Belchertown. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Henry, top, of Belchertown, hugs teammate Cara McKenzie after scoring her 1001st career point during a game against Sci-Tech, Thursday in Belchertown. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Henry, top, of Belchertown, leaps into the arms of teammate Cara McKenzie after scoring her 1001st career point during a game against Sci-Tech, Thursday in Belchertown. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Henry, of Belchertown gets a high five from assistant coach Manuela LeBlanc after scoring her 1001st career point during a game against Sci-Tech, Thursday in Belchertown. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Henry, of Belchertown, receives congratulations from her coach, Jason Woodcock, after scoring her 1001st career point during a game against Sci-Tech, Thursday in Belchertown. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

@kylegrbwsk
Published: 1/12/2017 11:26:14 PM

BELCHERTOWN — Kayla Henry wanted to get it over with.

The Belchertown senior guard started Thursday’s 49-28 girls basketball win over Sci-Tech with 992 career points.

She was reminded of it during pregame introductions.

Belchertown’s biggest crowd of the season hung a poster for each point she needed: counting 993, 994, etc.

“It’s been building up, and I’ve been stressed out about it,” Henry said.

She shirks the spotlight even as someone who’s spent so much time in it. So she set to work trying to reach the milestone as quick as she could.

Henry opened Belchetown’s scoring with a 3. Five left.

A few possessions later she canned a jumper from inside the right wing. Three to go.

Then she sliced through for a layup. One left.

“Since Monday night when we played Taconic and I knew I was going to get it here, everyone’s been tweeting about it, so I knew the gym was going to be packed,” Henry said. “It’s good to get it over with and out of my system.”

After a Sci-Tech basket with a little over a minute left in the first quarter, Henry took the ball out of the net and raced up the floor.

“I kind of just put my shoulder down and run, and look up as I get past half court,” she said.

The lane was open, so she went to the basket and floated the ball up toward the backboard. It bounced off the window and the front and back of the rim before settling through the net. Henry watched it go completely through before jumping and waving her arms in the air.

“I knew I was one point away, and I missed the shot before, so when I released it I was waiting to see if it would fall or not,” she said.

It did, giving her points No. 1,000 and 1,001 for good measure.

Kara McKenzie watched it go through then lightly pushed two Sci-Tech players to snatch Henry out of the air in a hug.

“I wanted to be right there for her. I picked her up, I was telling her how proud of her I was,” McKenzie said. “I just wanted to be right there for her in that moment.”

The game stopped with Belchertown ahead 14-11 with 1 minute, 14 seconds left in the first quarter. Henry took photos with her family and received flowers.

Belchertown athletic director Bruce Hastings unveiled the school’s banner, which had Henry’s name listed.

She became the 11th Oriole to score 1,000 points and fourth girl. She’s the first to do it since Téa Spellacy in 2015.

“I’ve been unbelievably fortunate, this is the third 1,000-point scorer I’ve coached in nine years,” Belchertown coach Jay Woodcock said. “We knew what to do. It’s tough, the energy, the emotion, the big crowd. We’re not used to having a lot of people at a girls high school basketball game. That was a good crowd.”

Once the ceremony was over, Belchertown settled down.

Including Henry’s 1,000th-point basket, the Orioles went on a 14-0 run to pull away. They only allowed two points in the second quarter.

“Everyone was probably a little nervous. It was a huge crowd, probably the biggest we’ve ever had,” McKenzie said. “Everyone just wanted it for Kayla. After it happened, I think we all relaxed and remembered we had a game to play.”

Belchertown struggled on offense with its second-lowest output of the season and lowest in a win.

“Points are usually the things we don’t struggle with. We must have missed 10 wide-open layups,” Woodcock said. “Emotional night, I get it. Their defense was such, they extended a bit, we couldn’t run some of our basic stuff. We were trying to isolate Kayla, Cara on one side.”

Henry finished with 25 points, and McKenzie had eight.

Most of McKenzie’s impact, however, was on the defensive end.

“She anchors the defense, totally controls the boards,” Woodcock said. “She got down on herself that she didn’t shoot well, but I told her ‘you still played well, you still do things that help us win the game.’ That’s the mark of a great player.”

Ultimately, though, it was Henry’s night.

She scored eight points in the fourth quarter and checked out to an ovation with 35.5 seconds left.

“Not a lot of people in our school have gotten it, it’s not a common thing,” Henry said. “I’m proud of my accomplishment, and I’m happy to share it with other people on the banner.”

Now she can focus on the rest of Belchertown’s schedule, which continues with a game against East Longmeadow on Jan. 20.

“It’s good to get it off my shoulders,” Henry said.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com.


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