Danville senior Tasha Milby became the latest local basketball player to pass the 2,000-point milestone when she scored 36 points in a win over Western Hills on Tuesday.
Milby has obviously been the biggest part of the Lady Admirals’ offense for some time now, but longevity should not diminish this achievement. Getting to 2,000 points, particularly while playing for a team that has lost more than it has won, isn’t easy no matter how long you play.
And she probably never would have gotten there had it not been for Judie Mason. Milby reiterated last week after Danville’s win over Boyle County what she said a few weeks earlier, which is that she would be sitting out her senior season if Danville’s first-year coach hadn’t convinced her to return.
Something clicked with Milby in her meeting with Mason just a couple of weeks before opening night, and now she’s soaking up everything she can from her new coach in the short time she has left.
“I’m so close to coach. She’s one of my best friends, she’s not only the reason I’m playing,” Milby said last week. “She brought back the love for me, and a lot of it still (that) I want to do good for her.”
Milby might be as hot right now as she has ever been. She hit 17 of 23 3-point shots in Danville’s wins Monday over Madison Southern and Tuesday over Western Hills, scoring 36 points in each game to raise her career total to 2,014.
I can’t recall the most recent area player before Milby to score 2,000-plus points, but it might have been Joe White, who passed that mark in the 2002-03 season.
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Both Mason and Boyle coach David Christopher are glad that first Danville-Boyle game is behind them. The drama surrounding their first meeting since Mason was fired by Boyle and hired by Danville and former Mason assistant Christopher took over the Boyle program has subsided.
And even though the energy level will be high when they meet again Feb. 9 at Boyle — and in every other meeting for at least the next couple of years — it won’t ever be as high as it was Friday.
“I think any time we play them, until those kids that I’ve coached have moved on, it’s going to be intense,” Mason said. “But it won’t be as intense.”
Mason said the friendship between her and Christopher made things hard for both of them Friday but also eased some of the tension surrounding the game.
“Me and David’s really good friends. David had my back last year when everything happened,” Mason said. “If we weren’t such good friends, I think it might have been a little more intense.
“David’s a great guy and I think he’s doing a good job with them, and I hope they’ll give him a chance.”
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Danville had more than enough weapons in its arsenal to beat Boyle 69-50, but Milby said it also didn’t hurt that the Lady Admirals had a better scouting report for this game than for any she’s ever played thanks to Mason’s familiarity with the Boyle personnel.
“She knows the players well,” Milby said. “She gave us an intense scouting report, every little detail on every player.”
Mason said that scouting report wouldn’t have made much difference if her players hadn’t been so focused.
“I did know a little bit about them, and that’s an advantage,” she said. “But they listed to me, and that’s the big thing.”