Samantha Jenks nets 1000th career point in key win for Hopkins Academy’s tourney hopes

  • Samantha Jenks, of Hopkins Academy, lines up a hot that would earn her 1001st career point during a game against Athol, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 at Hopkins Academy. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Samantha Jenks, left, of Hopkins Academy, shoots against Geca Baptista, of Athol, before scoring her 1000th career point Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 at Hopkins Academy. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Samantha Jenks, left, gets a hug from her sister, Allison, as her parents Shaun and Gina Jenks look on after she scored her 1001st career point Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 at Hopkins Academy. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Samantha Jenks, center, of Hopkins Academy, gets a hug from teammates Leah Picard, left, and Aleisha Stevens after she scored her 1,001st career point during a game against Athol, Friday at Hopkins Academy. Visit gazettenet.com for more photos. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Samantha Jenks, left, gets a hug from her father, Shaun, as Allison Jenks, left, and Gina Jenks look on after she scored her 1001st career point Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 at Hopkins Academy. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Samantha Jenks, center right, celebrates with family members Allison, from left, Gina and Shaun after scoring her 1001st career point during a game against Athol, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 at Hopkins Academy. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

@MattVautourDHG
Published: 2/10/2018 12:49:40 AM

HADLEY — Before Friday night’s game against Athol, Samantha Jenks’ boyfriend offered her some advice about chasing her 1,000th point for Hopkins Academy.

“He said don’t go in thinking about the 15 points that you need. Think about getting 30 and winning the game,” said Jenks, who came in with 985 career points.

Her boyfriend is John Earle and he’s a good source for 1,000 point advice. The guard on the Hopkins boys team reached the milestone himself a month ago.

Jenks got exactly 30 and Hopkins needed every one as the Golden Hawks kept their tournament hopes alive with a 64-61 win over Athol.

“I said to her ‘OK, you’re going to get it and we’re going to come out with a win because we need both of those,” Hopkins coach Fred Ciaglo said. “This was huge for Sammy and for Hopkins.”

Jenks had no hesitation about which achievement meant more to her.

“(The victory) means more (than the milestone),” the junior forward said. “That kept us alive for tournament.”

The Golden Hawks (8-10, 1-5 Franklin North) will face first place Greenfield on the road, Tuesday, and need to win.

She reached the milestone early in the second half. Hopkins trailed 34-24 early before turning steals into offense.

Jenks knocked down a long two from the left wing. The points were her 1,000th and 1,001st, but they were also Hopkins’ fifth straight to cut the deficit to 34-29.

“She got it in the flow of the game. She didn’t try to do too much,” Ciaglo said. “She picked her spots.”

The pause for pictures and ceremony didn’t slow Jenks or the Golden Hawks as the 5-0 run ballooned into a 13-0 surge that put the home team ahead 37-34 with 2:28 left in the third quarter.

Hopkins led for the rest of the game, but survived foul trouble and some anxious moments.

Allison Kowal-Safron (19 points) hit 3-pointers on three straight possessions to put the Hopkins up 56-48 with 3:51 left. But Athol, which beat Hopkins 41-35 exactly a week ago, hung around and got within 62-61 with 17.8 seconds left.

Jenks made one of two free throws with 17.0 left and following an Athol turnover, made one of two again with 5.9 left to make it 64-61. The Red Raiders never got a good look for a tying 3 and Hopkins held on.

Jenks will be the first name on a new 1,000-point banner as Earl and Morrison’s shared 1,000-point night filled up the second gold-on-blue banner on the gym wall. She’s the first girls player to reach the mark since Mackenzie Sullivan did in 2015.

Jenks said she’d been hoping to see her name on the wall since arriving at Hopkins at a seventh-grader.

“I’ve always looked there,” she said. “I had five points my seventh-grade year. I’ve wanted it ever since.”

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage




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