Schook reaches milestone in Tigers win
HILLMAN — Senior Vanessa Schook came into the Hillman girls basketball team’s game against Mio on Friday night just 14 points shy of 1,000 for her career.
It didn’t take long for Schook to reach that milestone as she and the Tigers were on fire early and won their fifth game in a row with a 60-20 victory over Mio.
“I thought tonight for the first time all season that we played a complete game,” Hillman coach John Kuzewski said. “We moved the ball very well on offense and we have been preaching make the extra pass and I think we saw that tonight. I was also happy with our defensive effort again tonight.”
Schook caught fire early, hitting four shots from beyond the three point line, including her final three of the quarter which came with 1:14 left as she scored her 14th point of the game and 1,000th of her career.
“It’s a huge relief to just finally get it over with and I’ve spent a lot of hours in the gym working on what was one of my personal goals since I was a freshman and it feels good to finally achieve it,” Schook said. “I just went in to tonight’s game thinking of it as a regular game and understanding that scoring that 1,000th point would just happen when it happens.”
Schook scored 16 first quarter points to lead Hillman to an early lead over the Thunderbolts. Hillman’s starting five all contributed early as the first five baskets came from five different starters as the Tigers opened up a 17-0 lead five minutes into the game.
“I think that’s what sets us apart, having four or five different options that we can go to at any time and can score double figures on any given night and that is giving other teams trouble. I am just so happy that this is the team I am coaching that has so many options,” Kuzewski said.
Mio struggled to figure out Hillman’s press all night and scored its first points with 2:41 remaining in the opening quarter as the Thunderbolts were held to four points after one.
The Tigers continued their dominance in the second quarter as they continued to score from all over the court and took a commanding 46-13 lead into the break.
The only thing that could slow Hillman down offensively in this game was a running clock that began in the second half as the Tigers cruised to 40 point win.
“It’s important now to get into a rhythm and we’re going to be playing two games a week now and I like the direction we are headed and I think this team has a lot of potential and the effort I’m seeing out of the players makes me extremely happy,” Kuzewski said.
Schook led all scorers on her special night, scoring a game-high 20 points.
“When a player knows how close they are to a certain goal, you never know how things are going to play out, but you couldn’t have asked for it to be any better. The shot she made for her 1,000th point, we ran a pick and roll which was something we’ve worked hard on in practice and everything was executed so well and all I could do as a coach was smile,” Kuzewski said. “She was brought up as a freshman and I can’t say enough about her. She’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever coached and it is a special honor and I mentioned to my team that it is a great individual honor, but it doesn’t get accomplished without a good team behind her and I think we embraced that tonight.”
Lyndsey Ryba added 10 points, Andrea Taratuta scored nine points and Morgan Armon chipped in with eight points to lead the Tigers to victory.
Mio was led by Lauren Kuffel who scored nine points as the Thunderbolts fall to 3-4 on the year.
Hillman improves to 5-1 and will travel to Alcona on Tuesday.
The Hillman JV team won a nailbiter on Friday, defeating Mio by a final score of 26-23. Alison Samp led the Tigers with 10 points and Anna Callender added eight points in the win.
HILLMAN (60) — O. Smith, 1 1-2 3; V. Schook, 8 0-0 20; L. Ryba, 5 0-0 10; J. Appelgren, 2 0-0 5; M. Armon, 3 2-2 8; E. LaFleche, 1 0-0 3; A. Taratuta, 3 2-2 9; K. Kenyon, 1 0-0 2.
MIO (20) — K. Auten, 1 0-0 2; E. Mangutz, 1 1-4 3; C. Wilson, 1 0-0 3; A. DeGrammont, 1 0-0 2; L. Kuffel, 4 1-2 9.