Mackenzie Blazek’s career point total now includes a comma.
A basket 31 seconds into the third quarter Thursday night against Shelbyville made Whiteland’s junior center the fourth player in program history to surpass 1,000 career points.
The 6-foot-2 Blazek finished with 21 to go along with eight rebounds and six blocks in the Warriors’ 69-44 victory.
Immediately after the game, Blazek and her teammates huddled around a pink poster – made at halftime on pink paper – advertising the accomplishment.
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“I think my teammates were more excited than I was,” Blazek said with a laugh. “They’re awesome. They made great passes and really made sure that I got this.
“It was a goal of mine, but it wasn’t that much of a goal where I was like, ‘OK, I have to get this’. Really, the ultimate goal was winning games.”
Senior guard Sidney Crowe scored 18 points for the Warriors, who also received 12 points from Jessyca Napier. Sophomore Megan Harlow contributed eight points and six boards off the bench.
Shelbyville trailed only by six, 40-34, at 3:57 of the third quarter when a baseline triple courtesy of Crowe started what was a 13-0 Warriors scoring run to basically put the game away.
Whiteland twice built as much as a 27-point lead midway through the fourth.
“We had a little bit of a slow start, and then we kind of got rolling there,” said Warriors coach Kyle Shipp, whose squad is now 9-11. “I really thought that our second half was better than our first half.
“One of the things we talked about at halftime was making sure we got defensive stops and then counter on the offensive end.”
Whiteland shot .464 from the floor (26 of 56), yet nine of its field goals were 3-pointers. Defensively, the Warriors limited the Golden Bears to 18 of 45 shooting (.400).
Half of the Warriors’ 12 first-half field goals came on 3-pointers, including four by Napier, as the hosts led, 33-23, at the break.
Shelbyville started the game strong, leading 8-3 when Shipp called a timeout with 5:20 remaining in the first quarter. Whiteland responded with three quick baskets, and took the lead for good at 16-13 when Napier delivered a triple from the left baseline to open the second.
The Warriors’ home finale takes place Saturday at 1:30 p.m. against county and Mid-State Conference rival Franklin.
Whiteland then takes to the road for its last two regular-season games. Shipp’s squad plays at Columbus North on Tuesday and against Mooresville on Jan. 27.