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Alayna Sherwood scores her 1,351st point in a 65-21 win.
By JAMAL THALJI
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 2, 2001
NEW PORT RICHEY -- She has been here countless times before. Posted up underneath the basket, attempting a shot while draped by three opposing players. The whistle blows, and Alayna Sherwood heads for the free-throw line one more time.
Only this time, history was on the line.
Sherwood's first basket swished through the net and a new chapter in Rams' history was written Thursday night.
The senior center became Ridgewood's all-time career scoring leader with 2:59 left.
After she hit the second free throw, coach Gary Zimmerman called timeout. Sherwood headed to the bench for hugs with her teammates as the crowd rose and gave her a standing ovation.
After 1,351 points, she certainly earned it.
Oh yeah, Ridgewood defeated Zephyrhills 65-21, too.
Afterward, Sherwood beamed. She set the record with a team-high 21 points, and wondered how soon the record could be changed on the board outside the Ridgewood gym.
It was the night Sherwood had long dreamed of, as everything fell into place for her to surpass Denine Brunoforte's mark of 1,349 points.
"It feels pretty good," she said. "It gets the stress off. Not stress, actually, but I was a little nervous. I was a little anxious, a little impatient.
"But I wanted to set the record here at home during the regular season, and I did."
That historic moment, and teammate Joeyn Dearsman tying her school record with six three-pointers, were the only saving graces of an otherwise brutal contest.
Neither team was at a loss for attitude in the form of harsh words and dirty looks, but undermanned Zephyrhills (4-22) could not match the talent, skill and experience of the Ridgewood (20-4) juggernaut. A 10-2 first quarter exploded into a 30-8 halftime lead.