Which is more exciting? Passing the 1,000-point mark in your career, or a rivalry win?
Emma Duff, Black Hills High School’s leading scorer who exceeded that number on Friday night, votes for the rivalry win.
“With that energy … that’s more fun for me,” Duff said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, so it’s fun to have that accolade.
“But, at the same time, it’s fun for everyone to win a rivalry game. It’s a team thing.”
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With 5 minutes, 10 seconds to play in the third quarter, Duff dribbled around a screen and pulled up for a deep 3-pointer.
The ball swiftly dropped through the hoop, and the Black Hills bench and student section erupted in celebration as Duff hit 1,000 career points.
“It’s one thing to win, but it’s another thing to win and have a teammate reach another level,” forward Maisy Williams said.
“It’s more than a win, it’s something that’s going to stick with her for life, and it’s a huge accomplishment.”
Duff scored another 3-pointer before her career night was over, and finished with a season-high 26 points, as the second-ranked Wolves toppled the T-Birds, 72-32, at Tumwater High School.
Duff was 23 points short of the mark entering Friday. Black Hills coach Tanya Greenfield thought she had a good chance to exceed it against the T-Birds.
“It’s a monumental thing that takes it even to the next step,” Greenfield said. “It’s at your rival school, and against players you have played with and against your whole life.”
After Duff’s record shot, Greenfield called a timeout, and Tumwater’s announcers honored Duff as the crowd cheered.
Duff said she wasn’t keeping a running count in her head, but wanted to treat the trip to Tumwater like any other game.
“It just kind of came naturally, which was nice,” she said.
But Duff’s total started to add up quickly. She scored 14 points in the first quarter as the Wolves jumped out to a 22-6 lead.
Misses and forced turnovers by the T-Birds often transitioned to routine baskets for Duff.
“I was playing at the top of the zone, so I was just the one that was getting the ball fed to me, which worked out,” she said.
Tumwater didn’t reach double digits until 2:24 remaining in the second quarter, when Sierra Snyder, who scored a team-high 18 points, converted a basket to make it 32-11.
Black Hills led, 40-14, at the break, and held Tumwater to single digits (six, eight, three) in each of the first three quarters.
“Offensively, we’re starting to learn how to play with each other better, and we’re starting to take more risks in our pressure defense,” Greenfield said.
“We run our presses and we run our half-court press. We’re starting to say, ‘Buy in and go and take risks,’ and that’s leading to the tips and the steals and the layins.”
Williams added 10 points for the Wolves while Lindsey Nurmi had nine.
Duff scored the first three baskets of the second half — including her career 3-pointer — to ignite a 21-3 run that resulted in a running clock.
The Wolves have scored 72 or more points — including Friday’s season-high 73 — in each of their past three games.
“I think we all know what we have to do to win, and we’re all willing to work hard, and we’re determined,” Williams said.
Duff, who is the area’s leading scorer with 19.5 points per game, said she’s trying to enjoy each game her final season.
“You just kind of have to live in the moment, I think,” she said. “I’ve learned that as the season goes by quickly.”
At Tumwater 53, Black Hills 52: With 2.6 seconds to play, trailing by one point, Tumwater coach Thomas Rowswell drew up a play for Brian Marty.
Marty, a senior, was the hero when he hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at Capital in December.
So naturally, the ball was going to him.
“Coach called an amazing play,” Marty said. “Just get it in to Thomas Drayton, our center, and back to me, and try to make a play.”
Marty inbounded the ball to Drayton from half court, before scurrying onto the court and taking the dish right back.
“The defender just really closed down on me, and I tried to create some space,” Marty said.
He pulled up for a short jumper from the baseline as Black Hills defenders crashed in — and the ball rattled home.
Tumwater’s student section rushed the floor after the T-Birds outlasted a late Wolves run to close out the crosstown rivalry win.
Marty, who is averaging 20.6 points per game, led Tumwater with a game-high 16. CJ Geathers added 14 points for the T-Birds.
Tumwater led by as many as 15 points in the second half, but Black Hills gradually trimmed the deficit, holding Tumwater to four points in the fourth quarter.
Ethan Loveless gave Black Hills its first lead, 50-49, with 2:47 to play before Drayton answered at the other end.
Tumwater defenders stalled Nate Kindell with less than eight seconds to go, but Kae Walker grabbed the rebound and scored to make it 52-51 Wolves with 3.8 seconds to go.
Then, after Black Hills forced the initial inbounds pass out of bounds, Marty set up his game-wining play.
Noah Brewer scored a team-high 14 points for Black Hills, while Joe Crumley added 13 and Garrett Glenn had 12.
Black Hills 22 18 21 12_73
Tumwater 6 8 3 15_32
BH – Williams 11, LaBelle 6, Patti 4, River 1, Sayahod 2, Duff 26, Reichert 6, Nurmi 9, Moloney 4, Serhan 4
T – Fields 2, Smith 1, Koelsch 2, Hare 9, Snyder 18
Black Hills 72, Tumwater 32: Duff exceeds 1,000 career points as Wolves topple T-Birds