Milestone moment: Tiana-Jo Carter eclipses 1,000 point mark, leads Lakers over Poland

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OVER 1,000 — Lake Region senior center Tiana-Jo Carter breaks the 1,000 point mark with this hoop during Tuesday's game against Poland. (Rivet Photo)

 

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

As Tiana-Jo Carter looked around the packed house Tuesday night, she felt both excitement and jitters.

She was in awe seeing fans wearing gold T-shirts with the slogan “This is Carter Country” on one side and “T2, 1000 points, 1000 rebounds” on the other.

When the game clock struck 6:56, Carter created Lake Region hoop history. Teammate Jordan Turner came up with a steal, made a quick push up the court and dumped the ball inside the lane where Carter pulled the trigger on a short jump shot for her fourth point of the night.

More importantly, it was the shot that put Carter over the 1,000-point plateau — just the second time in school history that a player reached the magic number (the other being Dana Wheeler).

The game stopped.

Fans cheered wildly.

Teammates embraced their leader, and handed her yellow roses.

And, a four-minute audio clip played as players, Coach Paul True and former coaches offered their congratulations as well as glowing comments about a young lady who was described as selfless, hard working, humble and tenacious.

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CELEBRATING THE MOMENT — Tiana-Jo Carter and Lake Region Head Coach Paul True. (Rivet Photo)

“Seeing the number of people who came here tonight and their response was really cool, unbelievable,” Carter said. “It is so awesome to be part of such a great community, where people are so supportive. I am so grateful, to my teammates who helped make this all happen, and to the community for always being there to cheer us on.”

Carter was ecstatic about scoring the 1,000th point before Laker Nation. She had drawn within three points heading into Tuesday’s game against Poland, after scoring 15 points last week in a 47–29 victory at Yarmouth.

“It’s special to do it before our fans,” she said. “I didn’t know anything about the audio tribute, and really didn’t know that I have over 1,000 rebounds. That’s really cool.”

Scoring early in the game enabled Carter to get the celebration out of the way and return her focus onto basketball.

“I really don’t like the focus on me, I’d rather it be on the team. It’s never about one person. We succeed because we are a team,” she said. “While scoring 1,000 points is nice, we are going after a much bigger goal.”

The elusive Gold Ball.

Carter and the Lakers stayed on track with a 58–44 win over Poland, the team’s 13th straight victory. With one game left on the schedule (home against York Friday at 6:30 p.m.), a victory would likely secure the Lakers the Number 1 seed in the Class B West tournament, which opens next week with prelim games. If LR lands the top seed, their first playoff game would be Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 8:30 p.m. at the Portland Expo.

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CONGRATULATIONS — Teammates handed Tiana yellow roses as the club celebrated the senior center's accomplishment — over 1,000 points and over 1,000 rebounds in her high school career. (Rivet Photo)

Although Poland was without three players, including top-scoring threat Michaella Arsenault, the Knights played a gritty game. Senior guard Emily Bolduc connected on four 3-pointers en route to a game-high 24 points.

Carter gave the Lakers a quick 4–0 lead by sinking her first two shots. After the Carter tribute, Poland took a 5–4 and 7–6 lead before the Lakers stormed ahead behind three-point shots from Sarah Hancock (11 points) and Kristen Huntress (7 points) for a 16–8 first quarter lead.

The Lakers had a strong three-minute stretch midway through the second quarter, going on a 10–0 run behind a three-pointer by Spencer True, an inside bucket by Carter off a well-placed pass by Turner, and an old-fashioned three-point play by Turner, who knifed between two defenders for a hoop. Sierra Hancock closed out the half by sinking a pair of foul shots with 3.8 seconds left for a 32–20 advantage at the break.

Poland kept it interesting as Sarah Bolduc drained a three-pointer to spark the Knights to a 7–2 run to start the third quarter.

Up just five, the Lakers responded with their own spurt as Sarah Hancock swished a left-wing trey, followed by hoops from Turner and Carter, and a pair of foul shots by Huntress to make it 43–29. Hancock completed the strong finish by netting a straightaway three-pointer with 1.2 seconds left.

The Lakers (16–1) put the game on ice with a 8–3 run to start the fourth quarter as four different players scored.

With 53.3 seconds left, Carter was pulled from the game. As expected, she received a standing ovation.

“I really enjoyed tonight,” she said.

Laker Nation has also enjoyed watching a promising young lady develop into one of the dominant players in the state.

Lakers: Tiana-Jo Carter 20, Miranda Chadbourne 6, Sarah Hancock 11, Sierra Hancock 4, Kristen Huntress 7, Spencer True 3, Jordan Turner 7.

Rebounds: Turner 7, Sierra Hancock 2, Chadbourne 4, Carter 14, Meghan VanLoan 2, Lucy Fowler 2, Sarah Hancock 2, Spencer True 2.

Poland: Emily Bolduc 24, Sarah Bolduc 12, Sadie Pelletier 2, Lindsay Theriault 4, Sarah Walton 2.

 

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