Ashley Koenig made history on Saturday as she became the first Summerland basketball player to reach 1,000 career points.
As an added bonus, it helped the Lady Bobcats earn third place in their first Niobrara Valley Conference Tournament.
Ashley only needed 4 points to hit the 1,000-point milestone heading into the consolation game against Boyd County in Atkinson.
Her scoring opportunities were scarce in the first quarter, but she easily cleared the mark in the second. After Ashley’s first bucket, she was one shot away from 1,000. It wasn’t long before she saw her chance. Hadley Cheatum put up a baseline jumper that just barely skirted off the rim. Ashley darted inside for the rebound.
“I was like, ‘There’s no one there. I’m going to get a perfect rebound and I’m going to put it back,’ And I did,” the Ewing senior said. “Then I heard my family go crazy.”
Her parents Kevin and Gina Koenig, the rest of her family and the entire Bobcat cheering section went into a frenzy in the stands. Several people raised signs with photos of Ashley that praised her achievement — “Congrats Ashley - 1,000 Points” and “1,000 Points - Endless Memories.”
“I heard my family and the crowd, and I was excited, but I just kept playing,” she said.
Ashley has been a starting player all four years — three as a Ewing Tiger and one as a Summerland Bobcat. She credits hard work and good teammates for reaching this milestone.
“You have to trust in your teammates that they’re going to get you the ball, but you can’t be selfish about it,” Ashley said. “It’s just a lot of hard work.”
Greg Appleby said he was happy to see all her hard work pay off.
“It was a good honor for her,” he said. “It was a great individual accomplishment within a team setting.”
After Summerland earned their NVC win on Saturday night, Appleby presented Ashley with the game ball. She ended the night with 15 points — 1,111 in her career — and she’s not done yet.
“Right now, the goal is just to finish hard this last week of regular season, and then go into districts ready to take down whoever we have to play,” Ashley said.