Senior staff writer
Lutheran High School senior basketball standout Rylee Morris scored her 1,000th point Dec. 28 against Greenwood Christian Academy in a game that was typical of her varsity career. Needing only 14 points to reach the historic plateau, Morris fittingly dished out two assists before driving to the goal early in the first quarter for a basket and a 9-6 lead against the Saints.
The 5-10 senior became the school’s second girl to score 1,000 points with 6:20 left in the third quarter. More than two dozen family members and relatives seated among the first few rows erupted and held up a homemade “1,000 points” banner.
Play was stopped as Saints athletic director Tom Finchum and assistant coach Laura Brougher Andrews, Lutheran’s first player to score 1,000 points, presented a commemorative basketball to Morris, who also is a standout volleyball and softball player. Morris, true to her modest personality, would rather have seen her teammates in the spotlight.
“It was nice to have the community cheering for me,” Morris said afterward among family and friends. “Honestly I don’t really like all that attention. … I just play to do whatever will help my teammates. I would rather just have my teammates enjoy the glory with me playing behind them and pushing them.”
However, she understood what the 1,000-point plateau meant to the Lutheran basketball program and those closest to her. “This was a goal that everyone had told me about, and one that I realized I could reach,” Morris said. “I’ll admit that I pushed myself harder in practice to reach this point.”
Morris’ 1,000th point had added significance against the Cougars because it stopped a 24-0 run that turned a 28-18 Saints’ lead into a 42-28 deficit. Lutheran got no closer than 47-40 as GCA rolled to an 89-64 road win.
Morris led the Saints with a team-high 24 points and 11 rebounds with help from teammates Anna Caster, 18 points, and Chloe Andre, 11 points. GCA sophomore Izzy Reed led the Cougars with a game-high 34 points and 18 rebounds with a 22-point punch added by junior Alexis Mead. The Cougars (8-5) have won six of their last seven games. Lutheran (2-9) holds a slim 5-4 lead in the Southside’s newest rivalry.