For Ritenour star guard Alexis Minner it probably felt like her first 999 points came easier than No. 1,000.
She drained a free throw early in the third quarter of her team's home game with Hazelwood West Friday to climb just one shy of the momentous mark. It took over five minutes and a number of shots to get 1,000 which came when she made another free throw with two minutes and seven seconds remaining in the third quarter.
"It was a relief," said Minner, who is the North County Journal Athlete of the Week for her feat. "I was happy but then I had to keep my head in the game because it wasn't over."
When the game was over it was time to celebrate for Minner. The celebration was muted a bit by the fact that the Huskies fell 64-38 to league rivals Hazelwood West, however.
"(A win) was what I really wanted," she said. "It's hard to be happy about it because we just lost and it was a conference game but it's OK."
She was the center of attention after the contest. She posed for a photo with her parents, Prentice and Helen Minner, her grandmother Barbara Muhammad as well as Ritenour coach Joe Scheidler. Ritenour athletic director Abe Raziq was there to congratulate her and her family, too.
"It's a big accomplishment," she said. "I'm happy about it."
"We're very proud of her," said her mother Helen.
Hazelwood West senior guard Shakaunna Oliver-Futrell, who is also closing in on her 1,000th point, has competed aggressively against Minner for many years in the Suburban North as well as on the AAU circuit. While she said that has kept them from being friends, Oliver-Futrell still acknowledged her rival's skills.
"I respect her game," she said.
Scheidler's a big fan as well.
"For her size, I wouldn't trade her for another kid in the area," he said. "She does so much and is so important and valuable to us. Because of her size, I think she's flying under the radar. Somebody is going to be very lucky to get her services."
Some who saw Minner play before high school might be surprised she racked up so many points. After all, she was more of a setup player when she got to Ritenour but a very good setup player who started as a freshman.
"She's been the best player on the court since day one," said Scheidler. "The funny thing about her is out of necessity we had to turn her into a scorer. She naturally has great court vision and is a great assist person. Over the four years, she has really evolved and has a very complete game."
Minner, who had 17 points against the Wildcats which is almost exactly her average per game, is getting some attention from Southeast Missouri State University and Missouri Southern. She said that wouldn't have happened all by herself.
"People pushed me to get better," she said.
She's doing the same for Huskies freshman Donshel Beck, who may have 1,000-point potential as well. Minner, a great leader, hopes to inspire somebody else at her school like Beck to do great things like herself.
"I want her to get it," she said of Beck, who had 12 points Friday, all in the first half. "She's on her way. She's going pretty good."
Minner has set a great example.