HARWICH – Countdowns typically happen at the end of a game, but in Skyeler Sandison's case the countdown began as soon as the stellar senior stepped onto the court at the start of game play against D-Y on Jan. 10. Mere minutes later, with the sinking of a layup, Sandison scored her 1,000th career point, a milestone moment worthy of celebration.
All eyes were on Sandison's shot and as soon as the ball fell cleanly through the net, the scoreboard horn sounded, an inflatable tube character was flown, in Nauset gold of course, and the Lady Warriors gathered around their teammate with hugs and cheers.
At center court, Sandison was presented by Nauset head coach John Piemontese with a signed game ball, flowers, and a handmade sign proclaiming her accomplishment.
“I told her that I've been coaching a long time and have only ever had two high school players get 1,000 points in a career, and she's the second,” Piemontese said. “It's quite an accomplishment because most high school kids don't play four years of varsity. They start on freshman teams, JV, and work their way up. To get 1,000 points is a major accomplishment. She should really be proud of that.”
“It feels amazing,” Sandison said after the game. “It's been my goal since freshman year. It was a dream of mine to have my name on the banner.”
Sandison said the moment was made sweeter since she was able to share it with her teammates, whom she considers among her closest friends.
“I've gotten to play with all of my best friends for the past four years,” she said. “A lot of my teammates I've been playing with since fifth grade. It feels really nice.”
Sandison recently committed to UMass Boston to continue her basketball career, but first had a game to get back to.
Though Nauset subbed in a number players from the bench throughout the game, there was no stopping the Warriors from scoring. Avery Burns led the way for Nauset with 19 points overall, 13 of which she scored in the first quarter. Sandison followed with 17 points, nine of which she scored in the opening quarter, and Ashley Ross contributed 13 points.
From the outset the game belonged to the Warriors, who netted 34 of their 74 points in the first quarter. Scoring along with Sandison, Burns, and Ross were Korin Mereste and Jessica Ross.
The second quarter was a bit more balanced as the Warriors focused on ball handling, with each team netting seven points in the frame. Burns added a pair of layups to her tally, while Mereste was 50-50 at the free throw line.
The third quarter saw Lili Hay join the fray, adding four points to Nauset's total, with both Jessica and Ashley Ross contributing, along with Sandison. Lashae Miranda, Hay, Sandison and Mereste closed out the scoring in the final frame.
“I thought it was a complete game. Everything we worked on in practice since the Falmouth game we did tonight, and we executed really well,” said Piemontese. “So it was like what we did in practice actually translated into the game, which is what we shoot for every time.”
Piemontese said he was impressed with the way players stepped up to account for the absence of Sunny Green, who was on the sidelines with an injury.
“Sunny Green is out with an injury so she didn't play at all, so everyone else stepped in,” Piemontese said. “Avery Burns played as hard as she can ever play. Jessica Ross was huge, Ashley Ross was huge. Korin Mereste. The five that were on the floor to start kind of set the tone for the game and maintained it all the way through. I'm really proud of them.”
The Warriors travel to Martha's Vineyard tomorrow for a 5 p.m. game and return home on Jan. 21 for a 6:30 p.m. game against Bridgewater-Raynham. On Jan. 24 the Warriors host the Barnstable Red Raiders at 6:30 p.m.