Mount Everett's Carpenter Scores 2,000th Point in Win over Lee
SHEFFIELD, Mass. -- Not a 3-pointer, not a drive to the hoop, not even a mid-range jumper.
No, the first 2,000-point scorer in Berkshire County in 27 years earned her milestone a mile from the basket.
With 42.5 seconds left in the first quarter Tuesday night against Lee, Mount Everett senior Gwendolyn Carpenter was fouled going for a defensive rebound.
The Eagles already were in the bonus, and Carpenter already had eight points on the night, putting her at 1,999 in her storied career.
She walked to the other end of the floor, toed the line and, as she has done hundreds of times in an Eagles uniform, sank the front end to touch off the celebration that interrupted an eventual 68-37 Mount Everett win.
“I was thinking, I missed a layup there or two [earlier in the quarter], so, we’ll see,” Carpenter said of her thoughts as she went to the line. “It was kind of fitting at the free throw line. I feel like I spend a lot of my time there, and I probably get a lot of my points there.
“It was a little bit of a sigh of relief. Now it was out of the way and we could just play and not have to worry about it, not have to think about it the whole game.”
Carpenter went on to score 28 in the game, giving the member of Mount Everett’s Class of 2019 2,019 points going into next week’s Western Massachusetts Division 4 tournament.
Tuesday night she became just the second Berkshire County basketball player -- boy or girl -- to score 2,000 career points, joining 1992 Lenox graduate Samantha Herrick, who finished with 2,055. According to a list published by the Boston Herald earlier this season, just 74 players in the commonwealth -- including Carpenter -- have accomplished the feat.
Her coach Tuesday agreed that the play under the opposing basket was a fitting way for Carpenter to earn the historic free throw.
“She’s just crazy, the kid loves to rebound, she loves to pass the ball,” Rote said. “She loves to do everything. And she can score.
“The other stuff is what she would rather do first. She likes making her teammates involved in the game. That’s her.”
True to form, Mount Everett’s first points of the game came on a Carpenter assist to Marion Devoti, who finished with eight points.
Carpenter scored her first points on an 8-footer to make it a 6-0 game. She next scored after getting fouled attempting to put back an offensive rebound, and she made both to give her 1,995 points just 3 minutes, 24 seconds into the game.
Two trips later, she was fouled driving the right wing and made one of her two free throws to get within four points of the milestone. Moments later, she was fouled putting back a rebound and converted for the conventional three-point play and 1,999 points in her career.
It was on Lee’s next possession that she was fouled going for the rebound, and her first foul shot made it a 19-8 Mount Everett lead.
The Eagles did not suffer from the distraction that sometimes attends these big individual accomplishments. Mount Everett extended its lead to 19 points by the midway point of the second quarter and closed the half on a 5-1 run to take a 41-18 lead into half-time.
Madison Ullrich scored 13 of her 20 points before half-time.
Lee (6-14) came into Tuesday’s game needing to win in order to qualify for the Division 4 tournament via the Sullivan Rule, and the Wildcats battled back in the third quarter, with their best offensive stretch, scoring 13, including two Emma Puleri 3-pointers.
But Madison Ullrich and Carpenter each scored four, and Mackenzie Ullrich hit a triple to match Lee and maintain the 23-point bulge going the fourth.
Carpenter capped her night with nine points in the fourth, including her second triple of the game, before Rote pulled his seniors off the floor with 27 seconds left.
Carina Brown and Lydia Simone each scored 10 for Lee, which graduates just one senior, Ann Macchi.
With a team of mostly freshmen and sophomores, Wildcats coach Rick Puleri knows that better days are ahead.
“We’ve beaten some tournament teams, and they’re essentially two points away from being in the tournament,” Puleri said, referring to a 37-35 loss at Pioneer Valley back in December. “We played a good schedule. They should take a lot of positives out of it.
“You’ve got to learn from it. Now they’ve been through what a season is like. Now we’ll just move forward, and hopefully next year we can improve and qualify.”
No one in Sheffield will be the least surprise if Lee does just that -- least of all Carpenter, who will follow Berkshire County basketball from afar next winter as a freshman at Framingham State University.
Scoring her 2,000th Tuesday on Senior Night and against an always tough opponent could only add to the experience.
“It’s always tough to play Lee,” she said. “This game, every year at home, is the big one. Everyone’s talking about it in school. Everyone is talking about what a great game it’s going to be. To get a big win tonight was really awesome.”
Rote, who got choked up talking about his seniors prior to the game, can still remember when one particularly awesome baller walked into his life.
“When she showed up one day, [her father] dropped at her at the door and said, ‘I have a meeting. Can Gwen hang her for a while in the gym as a fifth-grader?’ I said, ‘Sure, she won’t bother me,’ “ recalled Rote, who is stepping down after this season, his 18th at Mount Everett. “She hung around, hung around, and we let her compete in some of the shooting drills. She beat some of the varsity girls, and I said, ‘Boy, we have something special coming here.’
“We sure as hell did.
"Gwen, it’s been an honor and a pleasure to coach you -- to be called your coach. You didn’t need any coaching. You had it all, ingrained in you from the start.”
Earlier this season, the Boston Herald published in its online edition this list of 2,000-point scorers in Massachusetts high school basketball history on the occasion of Old Colony’s Jack Jason joining the list; the career number for Jason is out of date, but here is a look at where Carpenter stacks up:
1. Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir New Leadership 2004-09 3,070
2. Rebecca Lobo Southwick 1987-91 2,710
3. Jermaine Watson L-S, Thayer, Tabor 1997-01 2,665
4. Kristin Feldman Learning Center 1993-00 2,659
5. Kelsey O’Keefe Quaboag 2000-06 2,650
6. Bryan Edwards Cohasset 1983-88 2,563
7. Sarah Behn Foxboro 1985-89 2,562
8. Wayne Turner Beaver CD 1991-95 2,542
9. Ronnie Perry Catholic Memorial 1972-76 2,481
10. Sean Connolly Bishop Fenwick 1994-98 2,473
11. Mike Bradley Worcester Burncoat 1993-97 2,444
12. Keri Flynn Rockland 1995-00 2,405
13. Ayla Brown Noble & Greenough 2000-06 2,358
14. Katie Kerr Marian 1992-96 2,352
15. Adam Harrington Pioneer Valley 1994-98 2,347
16. Robin Christian Jamaica Plain 1981-85 2,332
17. Kendall Currence Falmouth Acad. 2015-2018 2,310
18. Marvin Safford Holy Name 1969-73 2,289
19. Ron Teixiera Catholic Memorial 1961-65 2,250
20. Matt Palazzi St. John’s (S) 1980-84 2,239
21. Emmanuel Bangandozou, Bancroft 2013-17 2,236
22. Lekia Cowen Hopedale 2003-08 2,210
23. Nicole Boudreau Andover 2008-12 2,200
24. Jessalyn Deveny Westford Academy 1997-01 2,195
24. Luke Dagley South Shore Christian 2012-17 2,195
26. Carla Berube Oxford 1988-95 2,190
27. Scoonie Penn Salem 1991-95 2,189
28. Azar Swain Rivers 2014-17 2,185
29. Jillian Danker Minnechaug 1994-98 2,179
30. Casey Arena Bishop Fenwick 1988-92 2,166
31. Nicole Wolff Milton Acad./Walpole 1998-02 2,164
32. Shaquana McDonough Learning Center 2004-09 2,163
32. Jon Garrity Duxbury 1968-72 2,156
34. Gerry Corcoran Norwell 1999-03 2,155
35. Katie Benzan Noble & Greenough 2011-16 2,153
36. Maddie Mullin Beaver Country Day 2013-17 2,142
37 Brianne Stepherson Masconomet 1992-98 2,139
38. Naomi Graves Hampshire 1973-78 2,137
39. Lynne-Ann Kokoski Smith Academy 1999-04 2,124
40. Michelle Edwards Cathedral 1980-84 2,121
41. Kevin Miranda Avon 2003-07 2,116
42. Colleen Hession Williston-North. 1996-02 2,096
42. Lenworth Williamson Pingree 2005-09 2,096
44. Jen Moussette Hampshire 2000-05 2,094
45. Chris Vetrano Andover 2000-04 2,090
46. Anthony Taylor NCC 1990-94 2,089
47. Duane Anderson Worcester Voke 1986-90 2,086
48. Chris Herren Durfee 1990-94 2,083
49. Tajanay Viega-Lee Fenway 2009-13 2,082
50. Jimmy Sullivan Dom Savio 1974-78 2,081
51. Ghared Boyce Everett 2005-08 2,073
52. Glenn Gariepy Bellingham 1962-66 2,070
53. Jes Hambley South Hadley 1994-99 2,069
54. Menel Lamadzema Mystic Valley 2013-17 2,067
55. Heman Honore St. Clement 2002-06 2,056
56. Samantha Herrick Lenox 1987-92 2,055
57. Justin Bennett Learning Center 1993-98 2,047
58. Paul Moran Swampscott 1981-85 2,043
59. Shaleyse Smallwood O’Bryant 2000-04 2,037
60. Deric McCottrell Avon/St. Sebastian’s 2006-11 2,035
61. Steve Zieja Hopkins Academy 1995-99 2,033
62. Tom Donahue St. Mary’s (B) 1971-75 2,031
63. Saleek Marshall Avon 2006-12 2,027
64. Necole Evans Springfield Central 2002-06 2,025
65. Caitlin Fisher Beaver Country Day 1996-00 2,024
66. Kerri Downs Everett 1995-99 2,019
66. Gwendolyn Carpenter, Mount Everett, 2013-2019, 2019*
68. Anna Kelly Lexington 2013-16 2,015
69. Jake Jason Old Colony 2016-2019 2,013*
70. Shante Dezrick Avon 2004-10 2,013
71. Karen Walsh Old Colony 1992-96 2,009
72. Thad Broughton St. Mary’s (L) 1997-02 2,007
73. Bruce Seals Natick/Ashland 1994-98 2,001
74. King Gaskins Catholic Memorial 1968-72 2,000