Dunkirk senior Khee Nance set a new school record for points scored by a girls basketball player Wednesday night after scoring a game-high 26 points in the Lady Marauders (11-5, 8-3), 73-35, drubbing of CCAA Division 1 foe Falconer.
“She was so excited,” Dunkirk head coach Sarah Bogardus said. “She really didn’t even know until (Wednesday). We didn’t want to tell her, because we just wanted her to stay focused and play her normal game of basketball.”
The silence seemed to pay off, as Nance helped Dunkirk build a 27-8 lead after the first quarter, before the Lady Marauders held the Lady Golden Falcons to two points – on two free throws – in the second quarter, building a 47-10 bulge at the break.
“The best part about (Wednesday), was that they knew they couldn’t think about the Olean game from (Tuesday),” Bogardus said. “They had to come back and bounce back very quickly.”
Nance finished with nine rebounds, three assists and two steals to go with her 26 points, which helped her break Karen Grace’s record of 1,005, set in 1990.
“She really should be so proud,” Bogardus said of Nance. “Only three people in the history of Dunkirk have scored over 1,000 points. It really is something difficult to achieve. She is so proud, but so humble about it. The first thing she said, in the locker room, was she thanked her teammates for helping her get there.”
Nance now sits at 1,013 after breaking the 23-year old record. Robert Nalepa, a member of the Class of 2009, is the only boys’ player to finish his career with 1,000 or more points.
“It really has improved drastically,” Bogardus said of Nance’s game. “Khee has always been so naturally athletic, but she’s really taken her game to a whole new level these past two years by putting in the time in the offseason and working so hard every second during practice. She really has improved in all areas and the biggest improvement is she really knows how to step up when we need her the most.”
The second half was more competitive than the first, as the Lady Marauders outscored the Lady Golden Falcons, 27-25.
“We seem to play really intense and aggressive for at least two (quarters),” Bogardus said of her team. “And then they lose that focus for the other two quarters. So, obviously we need to gain some consistency and play four, solid quarters in every aspect of the game.”
Lacey Clark finished with a double-double after scoring 24 points and grabbing a team-high 12 rebounds, missing a triple-double by two assists, finishing with eight, along with two steals.
“Those two girls are true senior leaders,” Bogardus said of Clark and Nance. “They really have been stepping it up, especially as of late. They are playing so hard and when they play hard, the rest of the team follows, because they really look to them to set the tone. And I’m so proud of the way they played (Wednesday). I’m proud of the way everyone played, but if we can have Khee and Lacey continue to have that kind of leadership, I really think we can finish this season strong.”
Jessica Gifford added nine points in the win while hauling down three rebounds, but the story of the night was Nance.
“She got there, obviously with the help of her teammates,” Bogardus said. “But because of all the extra hours that she has put in to improve her game and because of her commitment and dedication, she got there. I’m very proud of her and honored to be the coach of a girl as great as her. She really is just a great kid all around.”
For the Lady Golden Falcons, Shannon Gunnell led with nine points while Jenna Fellows and Abby Courtney each added five points in the loss.