The Montgomery County girls basketball team got a new all-time scoring leader and a new member of the 1,000-point club in its 57-25 victory over Van-Far on Tuesday.
Senior Malia Rodgers broke …
Jan. 30 was a night Malia Rodgers and Maddy Queathem will never forget.
In a span of 40 minutes, the Montgomery County seniors accomplished big milestones in an Eastern Missouri Conference contest against Van-Far. At 7:07 p.m., Rodgers became the Wildcats’ all-time leading scorer. At 7:47 p.m., Queathem became the 10th player in program history to score 1,000 points.
Rodgers broke the all-time career scoring record with 29 seconds left in the second quarter. She surpassed the old mark of 1,300 that was set by Erica Daume in 1991. Rodgers needed just nine points to break the record.
“I’m very glad that she broke the record,” Queathem said. “If anyone on this team deserves to break the record, it’s Malia. She’s the hardest working teammate that I ever had. She’s constantly in the gym, even on off-days. She’s in the gym every single day working on ways to get better and progress her game. She’s well-deserving of this award.”
Queathem hit the 1,000-point mark after scoring a layup with 1:39 to go in the fourth quarter. She finished with a career-high 29 points. She needed 28 to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
“I’m glad she did it here instead at an away game,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers and Queathem also helped the Wildcats cruise to a 57-25 win over Van-Far. MCHS knocked off Clopton two nights later to improve to 18-3 with two weeks remaining in its regular season.
“I have faith in this team and I think we all worked really hard over the years,” Queathem said. “We have five seniors and we’ve been playing together since we were young. We all put in the time and work.”
Rodgers came into this season needing just 292 points to break the all-time career scoring mark. Before the Van-Far contest, she surpassed seven players to move up to second in the all-time scoring list.
“It was definitely a goal that I had for myself coming into this year,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers tied Daume for the all-time scoring lead after hitting two free throws 1:45 left in the second. After a MCHS timeout, Rodgers received a pass from senior Madi Polston with 29 seconds remaining in the period and scored a layup to break the record.
“I knew I was close (to the record) when he (MCHS coach Joe Basinger) called the timeout,” Rodgers said. “He literally drew up a play for me to catch it on the block.”
Play was stopped for two minutes so Rodgers can be recognized for her achievement.
“It means a lot,” said Rodgers, who scored six points in her first varsity game on Nov. 30, 2020, when the Wildcats crushed Bowling Green 70-7. “There were a lot of people who have been part of this journey. I’m super grateful for everyone who helped me reach this milestone.”
Queathem scored 11 points in the first half and 18 in the second. After Queathem scored her basket at the 1:39 mark in the fourth, play was stopped again so she can be honored for her feat. She received a basketball with her name on it.
“It comes with a lot of pressure that you put on yourself, especially when you constantly have people asking you, ‘When are you going to get it?’ It’s one of those things that you try not to think about, but it’s always in the back of your mind,” Queathem said. “To get it and get it over with and move on to the next (milestone) is a great accomplishment.”
The other players who scored 1,000 points of more are Stephanie Finke (1,235), Anna Henke (1,124), Kayla Schmidt (1,096), Lissa Marteen (1,086), Angela Mahaney (1,061), Roxie Boschert (1,044) and Gina Gregory (1,016).
“It feels really good to be part of that group,” Queathem said. “It’s a big accomplishment, but I wouldn’t be able to accomplish that without the coaches, support and family and everyone I had along the way.”
After the game, Rodgers and Queathem celebrated their accomplishments with their families and friends.
“There is definitely a lot of support in this community,” Queathem said. “You constantly see it at games and just around the town and everything like that. I think we have a lot of support for each other. It really showed tonight when we all came together.”
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