Thursday, February 22, 2024

Freshman phenom scores 1,000 career points: Section V players to hit milestone in 2023-24

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While most freshmen are competing against junior varsity or modified competition, Lima Christian’s Alyssa Marsh has already checked an impressive box on her varsity resume.

On Feb. 2, Marsh scored 33 points in a win over Rochester Prep, and became the latest Saints player to reach 1,000 career points.

A gaudy feat for any varsity basketball player, but virtually unheard of for one at such a modest age.

Bookmark this: Section V girls basketball scores for the 2023-24 season

Marsh joined Lima Christian’s varsity team as a seventh-grader, and while the played a combined varsity and JV schedule Marsh still managed around 300 points.

Her scoring prowess has continued through her freshman season. This winter, while leading the Saints to a 12-5 record through the final week of the regular season, Marsh has already achieved a difficult career milestone.

Based on Marsh’s scoring pace, the milestone assumed a feeling of inevitability. Lima Christian coach Val Coykendall − who is also Marsh’s great aunt − believed her freshman star had a general sense of her impending accomplishment, but the Saints coach wanted to keep the inevitable achievement under wraps for as long as possible.

“The first time I had a 1,000-point scorer, it was a senior and it was very stressful,” Coykendall said. “I did not want to tell her, but I think she did the math at the end of last year.”

Having known Marsh since birth, Coykendall noted how the latter has always been an impressive runner. She completed her first mile as a first-grader and a 5K in third grade.

She utilizes those skills on the basketball court, often converting turnovers into easy breakaway layups.

“She’s a pretty gifted young lady. God has really blessed her, and we’ve been able to nurture that growth,” Coykendall said.

After completing the rare feat of reaching 1,000 career points as a ninth-grader, Marsh can now set her sights on some New York state and Section V records.

According to the New York State Sportswriters Association, only five girls basketball players in state history have reached 3,000 career points:

  • Caryn Schoff, St. Johnsville (1989-1995): 3,548 points
  • Dani Haskell, Franklinville (2014-2020): 3,227 points
  • Bethany LeSueur, Garden City (1996-2001): 3,167 points
  • Nicole Melious, Susan Wagner (2020-2023): 3,140 points
  • Niesha Butler, Riverdale (1992-1998): 3,127 points

The Section V record is held by Red Jacket’s Beth Record, who scored 2,895 points during her varsity career that spanned five seasons (1992-1997).

If Marsh is to climb the all-time rankings, Coykendall pressed that she’ll have to continue to evolve her game while remaining healthy and overcoming the losses of current seniors Lily Herring and Abby Britton.

“It’s going to get tougher, but hopefully her game continues to evolve and get better,” Coykendall said. “We don’t talk about (3,000 points), but would it surprise me? No. She’s very driven and likes to set goals for herself that are challenging to attain. If she stays healthy and we can bounce back from losing Lily and Abby next year, anything can happen.”

Section V girls basketball players to reach 1,000 career points this season

Libby Benner, Keshequa

  • Grade: Senior
  • When: Wednesday, Dec. 13 vs. Avon

Nevaeh Ross, Friendship-Scio

  • Grade: Senior
  • When: Friday, Dec. 15 vs. Bolivar Richburg

Mallory Heise, Hilton

  • Grade: Junior
  • When: Tuesday, Dec. 19 vs. Churchville-Chili

Kendall Parker, Dundee/Bradford

  • Grade: Junior
  • When: Thursday, Dec. 21 vs. Bloomfield

Mary Hamer, Genesee Valley-Belfast

  • Grade: Senior
  • When: Friday, Jan. 5 vs. Warsaw

Ella Clark, Hilton

  • Grade: Senior
  • When: Friday, Jan. 19 vs. Fairport

Kyleigh Chapman, Canandaigua

  • Grade: Senior
  • When: Tuesday, Jan. 23 vs. Brighton

Sadie Scott, Brighton

  • Grade: Senior
  • When: Friday, Jan. 26 vs. Hilton

Alyssa Kramer, Alexander

  • Grade: Senior
  • When: Tuesday, Jan. 30 vs. Elba

Hazell Nickerson, Caledonia-Mumford

  • Grade: Junior
  • When: Friday, Feb. 2 vs. Keshequa

Alyssa Marsh, Lima Christian

  • Grade: Freshman
  • When: Friday, Feb. 2 vs. Rochester Prep

Zarriah Eldridge, East Rochester

  • Grade: Senior
  • When: Friday, Feb. 9 vs. Lyons

Is there a name missing from this list of 1,000-point scorers from this girls basketball season? Email jritzel@gannett.com to make an addition.

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