Royals beat Park as Thone reaches 1,000-point markWoodbury girls basketball defeated the Wolfpack 58-46 Tuesday as senior guard Jessica Thone eclipsed the 1,000-point mark on her home court.
By: Hank Long, Woodbury Bulletin
Blame it on a case of the jitters.
It took her more than 20 minutes to make a field goal, but when Jess Thone finally connected on a three-point shot at the beginning of the second half in Woodbury’s 58-46 win over Park Tuesday, the nerves were gone.
The senior guard followed her trey by making a jump shot just a few possessions later, giving Thone exactly 7 points and 1,000 points for her career.
Only five other players in Royals girls hoops history have reached the 1,000-point mark, which longtime Woodbury girls basketball coach Dave Preller said is no small feat.
“Here in this conference, this section, playing in class 4A, those are 1,000 earned points,” Preller said after the game at Woodbury High School. “That’s a real source of pride. These are tough points to get, in a suburban conference against the best girls basketball in Minnesota.”
Thone, who struggled from the floor in the first half of the game, ended up scoring 12 points, 10 of those coming in the second half.
“I was really nervous coming in,” Thone said, regarding her accomplishment. “I just wanted to get it over with and figured this has to be the game to do it.”
Thone’s performance Tuesday mirrored that of her team’s. Woodbury struggled to make shots in the first half, and was out-muscled under the offensive boards by Park’s top player Katya Leick, who grabbed 16 total rebounds to go along with 24 points in the game.
“They out rebounded us in that first half,” Preller said, “and if you give them that advantage, anybody will beat you with second shots.”
Woodbury trailed Park for much of the first half, but took the lead in the second half on Thone’s three pointer and never looked back.
The Wolfpack did tie the game at 33 with just less than 9 min. remaining, but Woodbury, backed by the inside game of senior forward Sarah Hintz, proceeded to go on a 23-9 run over a 7 min. span, which all but secured a Royals victory.
“I think the turning point of that game is what you saw down in the lane there with (Hintz),” Preller said, in reference to his team’s second half turnaround. “Our post kids kept turning it over in the early part of the game, but, as you saw there later in the game, when we go inside we can score every time.”
In addition to Thone’s 12 points, three other Royals players, including Hintz, scored in double figures.
“We were just playing really well together,” Thone said. “Everyone was being really unselfish today and everyone was passing the ball to each other. I think that’s what was helping us out there in the second half.”
Preller said Park put up a good fight in the first half, but added that some of his players may have been overly focused on helping Thone reach the 1,000-point mark.
“I think some of our other players allowed it to be a distraction,” Preller said. “But as the game wore on, and she hit that mark, I think we did enough things right, moved the ball well, attacked the basket. It was a good win.”