BASKETBALL: Patton passes 1,000 as Tigers pound Perry

WAYNESFIELD — Waynesfield-Goshen junior Kaylee Patton needed 16 points Thursday night to eclipse the 1,000 point mark in her varsity girls basketball career.

And she needed less than two quarters to do it.

Patton passed the mark with a reverse layup with 1:37 left in the half, then went on to score a team-high 24 points to lead the Tigers to a 56-40 win over the Perry Commodores in the Northwest Central Conference opener for both teams.

“It’s amazing,” Kaylee Patton said. “My teammates really help me out. They hit some outside shots and that let me get to the inside.”

Officials stopped the game as Patton went to the sideline and hugged her father and coach Ted Patton and her teammates.

“A lot of hard work went into that,” Ted Patton said. “I was glad to see that. It paid off — a lot of hours in the gym.”

At halftime, she joined fellow 1,000-point-club members Lisa Patton Bruggeman (her sister), Candy Day VanBurskirk, Kara Doty Springer and Brittany Lament at mid-court.

Bruggeman holds the all-time scoring record of 1,114 points. That mark is likely to be eclipsed by her younger sister this season, a fact that comes up at family gatherings.

“There are some words exchanged,” Kaylee Patton said with a laugh.

Lost in the party atmosphere of the celebration was the fact Patton’s reverse layup had given the Tigers a 20-point lead.

Patton scored the Tigers’ first nine points and 13 total in the first quarter as W-G used a 13-2 run to take a 19-7 lead in the first quarter.

The Tigers then outscored Perry 16-4 in the second quarter to take a 35-11 lead into the lockerroom.

“It seemed like they were shooting 90-percent,” Perry coach Herb Lane said. “They couldn’t miss a shot.”

Perry fought back with a couple small runs in the second half.

But each time the Tigers responded with a run of their own.

The Commodores opened the third quarter with 12-2 run to cut the W-G lead to 37-23 before the Tigers answered with six unanswered points.

“I think we kind of relaxed and we just need to keep pushing,” Kaylee Patton said.

Said Ted Patton, “I think the adrenaline was really high when it happened and I think we came out after halftime and just never got into the flow of the defense and the stuff we wanted to do.”

In addition to her 24 points, Patton pulled down seven rebounds, dished out seven assists and collected six steals.

Sydney Buffenbarger and Rebecca Stephens added eight points apiece.

The win lifted W-G to 2-3 on the season and 1-0 in the NWCC.

Perry fell to 0-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference.