LINCOLN-The Alcona girls basketball team's matchup with Oscoda at 7:30 tonight isn't a crucial game for the North Star League standings, but it could be huge for Alcona's Karina Cole.
Cole, a senior, sits just 33 points shy of breaking her school's career scoring record of 1,267 points.
Cole currently averages 21.8 points per game, so she might break the record in next week's game against Fairview game, but her father and coach Brad Cole hopes she has the chance to do it in front of a home crowd.
News File Photo
Alcona's Karina Cole (12) putting up a layup in a game in?Lincoln. Cole needs just 33 points to break her school career scoring record.
"She could do 33 points in a game. But, I'm big on the team thing. I'm not going to pad her points so she can break the record," Cole said. "If she does it within the context of the game, being at home would be a nice time to do it."
Karina is likely to far outpace past Alcona record holders, as she still has at least 10 more games to play before the end of the season. The top five record holders were all within the 1,200 range. She is currently in third place.
Few people in the area were immediately aware that she was so close to breaking the record. Karina avoids the spotlight, but as the record drew closer, it was hard for her to avoid getting excited.
"Its definitely a great honor to have come this far. I've wanted to achieve this goal for quite some time in my life," she said. "It doesn't mean as much as district titles and regional titles. It's just another aspect, its a secondary goal more than anything. I'd prefer to go far as a team."
Karina has several different goals she wants to achieve as a basketball player. Most of these are team oriented, such as winning a district title and a regional final.
Her team oriented mindset is fostered by Brad and his desire to keep his team focused on winning one game at a time.
"The team is aware of (the chance of her beating the record) and they're all very excited. But, we're going into tomorrow's game with the plan to beat Oscoda. Its a big deal for us, for her and the school, but we're staying team focused," he said.
Brad is not the only member of the family that will have the chance to share this record breaking opportunity on the court with her.
Karina's sister Kendra is a key component in Alcona's success. She is a tall, physical center who snags 8.1 rebounds per game and who has been her sister's basketball buddy since childhood.
The fact that Karina could break her school's career scoring record with so many family members present on the court by her side makes the accomplishment all that more meaningful for her.
"It's huge. I grew up playing with Kendra my entire life. We've always been on the same team in everything. My dad has been my coach all but four years and having him there to motivate me more is great. He can motivate me more than any other coach could," she said.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.