Jade Schultz nears ACC scoring mark

News File Photo Alpena Community College’s Jade Schultz, left, puts up a shot while being defended by a Wayne County Community College player during a game at Park Arena in this News file photo. Schultz currently has 1,004 career points in three seasons with the Lumberjacks and could become the program’s new career scoring leader tonight.

ALPENA — Jade Schultz’s next college basketball game may be one for the record books.

With 1,004 points over three seasons at Alpena Community College, Schultz is just 21 points away from becoming the women’s basketball team’s all-time scorer.

Schultz reached 1,000 career points on Saturday — becoming just the second ACC player to do so after Karina Cole did it in 2016.

Now Schultz is just a few points shy of breaking Cole’s mark of 1,024, which also came in 2016. She’ll get the chance to do it tonight when the Lumberjacks host Delta at 5:30 p.m. at Park Arena.

“It feels good, but it’s very nerve-wracking,” Schultz said.

In 20 games this season, Schultz is averaging 18.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game and has a pair of 30-point games to her credit.

Those numbers would suggest that scoring has always seemed to come naturally for Schultz, but it’s also a tribute to her competitive nature and ability to keep calm under pressure.

After a standout career at Alpena High School, Schultz’s college career began under tough circumstances when the COVID-19 pandemic pushed back the start of her freshman season (2020-21) and ultimately limited ACC to 12 games.

Even in that short amount of time, Schultz made an impact. She averaged 14.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, while also recording four games with at least 20 points.

“I think it really lifted ACC up a notch, having a caliber player like her,” ACC coach Cindy DeRocher said. “Especially coming out of what we were coming out of with COVID and we didn’t know what was going to happen. Jade’s a phenomenal athlete.”

Schultz’s 639 points over her first two seasons were good enough for 10th on ACC’s career scoring list, but she’s continued to improve and strived to make the most of her final basketball season.

As a mainstay in Alpena’s front court, she routinely gets double-teamed and fronted, but she embraces the pressure and her role as a team leader and contributor on both ends of the floor.

“I mean I don’t usually crack under pressure,” Schultz said. “I like pressure so It doesn’t bother me. (My mindset this year is) just to compete. I like competing and this is my last time I’ll play basketball, so it was kind of like just to go out with a bang.”

Schultz’s name regularly shows up on the score sheet for ACC — she’s reached double figures in all but three games this year — but it wasn’t until last Friday morning that she found out how close she was to topping ACC’s scoring list.

ACC’s record stood for more than 30 years with Diane Flakes holding the record before Cole broke it with a 29-point effort against Oakland in Feb. 2016.

“I think it dawned on all of us like, ‘Jade’s gotta be getting close,’ DeRocher said. “I had actually looked it up a few weeks before when she was about 100 points away (from 1,000).”

Schultz responded with a 16-point effort to set up what could be a very special night tonight.

“To have her come in and give as much as she’s given to basketball, not only as a player but she’s a tremendous leader too,” DeRocher said. “Two things she said that she knows about herself, she stays calm and she’s competitive and that lifts everyone else up.”


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