Carpenter Breaks Mount Everett's All-Time Scoring Mark
DALTON, Mass. — It was a record-setting night for Mount Everett senior Gwendolyn Carpenter as she set the school’s all-time scoring mark with a fourth-quarter free throw to give her 1,789 in her stellar career.
Carpenter finished with 14 points -- 1,791 for her career and two more than she needed to pass 2000 graduate Jen Bennett for the school record -- in a 52-36 loss to Wahconah.
After tying Bennett on a free throw for her 11th point of the game, Carpenter missed three straight at the line before finally making one and making history on the second of a two-shot opportunity she earned by drawing contact in the post.
“It’s those darn free throws,” she said with a laugh while surrounded by a gaggle of reporters from various regional media outlets. “I really wasn’t that nervous going into the game. To me, it was just another basketball game.
“I couldn’t get those free throws to fall. I was a little short on, I think, all three of them. So my legs were a little tired. But when that fourth one went in, it was kind of a relief.”
People dream about one day scoring 1,000 points in their high school career, but for Carpenter that was just another stepping stone on her journey to number one in scoring at Mount Everett.
It was a slow start Thursday night, though, as Wahconah keyed in on her early and often. After the first quarter, she was had to just two points, and although she found it hard to score for herself, she was able to set up her teammates with the over pursuing pressure on her. Mount Everett (4-6) jumped out to an early 7-2 lead.
But that lead didn’t last long as Wahconah came back and took a 9-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Wahconah started to get its rhythm, starting on a 9-0 run and continuing to make things difficult for Carpenter. The man-to-man pressure mixed with zone help made it tough for her to get inside the paint.
This opened things up for her Eagles teammates, like Mackenzie Ullrich, who finished with 14 points, including four triples. Ullrich and Gwendolyn knocked down back-to-back 3s to bring the Eagles within five points
But Maria Gamberoni, who finished with a game-high 25 points including 12 in the second quarter, helped widen the gap for Wahconah before the break. It was the typical defense leading to offense that Wahconah strives on all year.
“We get our offense from our defense, I think once we got our confidence defensively, it led to more confidence on offense,” Wahconah coach Liz Kay said. "I think we were focused on the game plan defensively that it took awhile to get going offensively, but it was great to see us get it going. This was a great win.”
Just when things seemed to be going all Wahconah’s way, Mount Everett had a run of its own. After back-to-back 3s, including a banked triple from Carpenter, the Eagles slowly closed the gap. Carpenter then had a conventional three-point play to keep things close and tie Bennett.
“I think it's awesome,” Bennett said on Tuesday as Carpenter closed on the record in a win over Monument Mountain. “She's a great player. She reads the court well. She's a great teammate. It's the best person who could possibly do it.
“She's the complete package: great student, she comes from a great family. She seems to have it all. She works hard for everything she gets, and it's good to see someone who works that hard accomplish the goals they set forth to accomplish.’
Bennett said she has been following Carpenter throughout her career and gets to as many games as she can. And she expressed no mixed emotions about seeing the Mount Everett senior move past her in the record books.
“Records are made to be broken,” Bennett said. “It was gonna get broken eventually.”
Carpenter broke the record late in the fourth quarter with five minutes to play at the free throw line. Unfortunately for her and the many fans who made the trip from Sheffield, the game was out of reach at this point.
“It’s pretty cool, We talked about how it would have been better to get the win tonight, but it’s a really cool honor and a result of everyone around me,” Carpenter said. “I’ve played with so many great teammates and [coach Scott Rote], and I have been together for six years now and we really know how to work together. It’s nice to be a part of.”
Carpenter will look extend her scoring mark when Mount Everett goes to Pioneer on Tuesday.
Wahconah (8-1) will look to keep its impressive eight-game win streak going at Lee on Tuesday.