Girls Basketball: A milestone nightIt all started eight years ago when Red Wing’s Macy Kelly and Tesha Buck played on the same fourth-grade girls basketball team. Now, as seniors in high school, Buck and Kelly got to share in a night straight out of a novel.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
It all started eight years ago when Red Wing’s Macy Kelly and Tesha Buck played on the same fourth-grade girls basketball team.
Now, as seniors in high school, Buck and Kelly got to share in a night straight out of a novel.
“That’s a Hollywood story right there,” Red Wing head coach Dave Muelken said. “If you scripted it, I don’t think you would have changed anything.”
The Wingers faced adversity – it remained a 1-point game with less than two minutes left in regulation – they knocked down clutch shots and two scoring milestones were reached as Buck notched her 2,000th point and Kelly tallied her 1,000th three minutes later to help fifth-ranked (3A) Red Wing knock off fourth-ranked (3A) Chaska 62-55 at home.
“We knew it’d be a huge win for us,” Buck said. “It’s fun getting this milestone together. It’s cool seeing her growing up as a person and a player.”
Kelly said she looked at old photos of two playing back in grade school and how the two of them were always the tallest players on the team. Reaching the point thresholds and defeating a top team left little to complain about.
“I never thought that would happen,” Kelly said of the two milestones coming on the same night. “We knew this would be a big one for us. With the outcome a win, it was the best night.”
Buck finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and three blocks while Kelly had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Chaska was led by Kendall Baab who scored 19 points and Hannah Rohe’s 14 points, including four second-half 3-pointers.
The Wingers (10-2, 2-0 Missota) led by a slim margin for most of the game, holding a 30-24 lead at halftime. Red Wing established a 10-point lead early in the second half, but the Storm would not go quietly.
Buck banked in point 2,001 with 10 minutes, 16 seconds left and Kelly tallied point 1,002 on a 3-pointer to make the score 48-42 with 7:21 remaining.
Buck and Kelly seemed surprised when play was stopped for a presentation. Both players stayed focused on defeating Chaska and didn’t realize they were close to the point thresholds, Buck said.
“To not let that interfere,” Muelken said, “you could tell … it was the last thing on their minds.”
“Once you get in the game, you don’t focus on that,” Kelly added.
The stoppage didn’t faze Chaska as the Storm responded with a 9-3 run to tie the score at 51-51. With the game tied at the 5:29 mark, Buck scored eight points, including a crucial 3-pointer with 1:36 remaining, Kelly knocked down a free throw, and McKenzie Muelken made a baseline jump shot to seal the victory.
“They made big shots and we answered,” Dave Muelken said. “We came right back.”
A big reason for the Wingers’ success Friday night was their rebounding effort. Red Wing had 34 defensive rebounds against a team that boasts seven players standing 5-foot-9 or taller.
“That was the focus,” Dave Muelken said of the Wingers’ rebounding success. “We knew we had to outrebound them. We executed. We said, ‘We’re not making excuses.’”
Now, the milestones are out of the way. Buck and Kelly can focus on getting back to state and possibly more.
“It’s cool but I think there are more things to do,” Buck said. “It’s a big milestone but there are a lot of things that are ahead of us.”
“To get it in a win, that’s pretty neat,” Dave Muelken added. “They’re special players. It shows how much it means to them. This is just icing on the cake and I think they’d tell you that.
“This will be a confidence builder for us. We can play with the really good teams. We just want to build off it.”
The Wingers will get a chance Tuesday when they travel to face third-ranked (3A) New Prague.