Perry’s Alyssa Welsh continues to climb the area’s all-time scoring list, cracking into the top 10 Friday with a 20-point effort in a win over Lansing Christian.
Already the Ramblers’ all-time leading girls scorer by a wide margin, Welsh (1,167) broke a tie for sole possession of eighth place in the county Tuesday after scoring eight points in a win over Olivet. That bumped Morrice’s Candi Kollek, who scored 1,159 points from 1995 to 1998, down to ninth.
Perry has a minimum of five games left — four regular season and at least one district — which leaves Welsh an outside chance at the top five.
Currently in fifth is New Lothrop’s Sarah Warner, who had 1,286 points from 2000 to 2003. That’s 119 points away for Welsh, which if you do the math comes out to 23.8 points per game over five games. Win a couple district games and the odds go up, obviously.
She’s certainly capable of putting up big numbers, with multiple 30-point games so far this season.
Seventh-place Shannon Gross (New Lothrop, 1992-95) and sixth-place Allison Gross (Corunna, 1996-99) are more immediate targets. Shannon Gross had 1,223 points, while Allison Gross scored 1,269.
Warner’s number is probably Welsh’s ceiling, however. There’s a big jump to No. 3, where Sarah Vincke (New Lothrop, 1995-98) and Kristen Long (Durand, 2008-12) are tied at 1,427. Even if Perry, which is hovering around .500, makes a run at Breslin there’s probably no catching those two.
Here’s some other winter hoops milestones that could be met this season or in the coming seasons:
1,000 career points
Sarah Marvin, Byron, junior — I highlighted Marvin in this “milestone” column last season, saying she probably wouldn’t reach 1,000 as a junior and would need a “monster season” to do it. She might just prove me wrong. She’s at 827 with a minimum of six games left. To reach it in just those six games, she’d need to average 28.8 points, which is well above her season average. However, No. 3-ranked Byron won its first 14 games and is a real contender to reach Breslin Center, meaning she’s likely to get many more games than just the bare minimum.
Makayla Clement, Byron, junior — Clement has kind of flown under the radar to Marvin, last year’s All-Area Player of the Year. Clement was a second-team All-Area selection as a sophomore and honorable mention as a freshman, and has quietly put together a nice career point total of 672. She likely goes well past 700 by the end of the year, putting her in good shape to join the 1,000 club in 2020-21.
Brooke Wenzlick, New Lothrop, junior — Wenzlick has carried the scoring load all year for the Hornets. She has 315 points so far; no other New Lothrop player has more than 100. According to our records, her career total is now at 806. That probably puts her in the “wait ‘til next year” range — though if she drops some more school-record 42-point games, like she did Jan. 23 against Durand, that could speed up the timeline.
Ellie Toney (New Lothrop), sophomore — Toney scored 243 points as a freshman and has already surpassed that total in 15 games (257) in 2019-20 to put her at 510 for her career. She’s on a very similar scoring pace as Marvin, who had 551 through her sophomore season. If she can get in the 600 range by the end of the postseason, she’d have an outside shot at 1,000 in 2020-21.
Caleb Leykauf (Perry), senior — Leykauf is the only boys player we’ve been keeping tabs on to reach 1,000 points, as no one else has really had the consistent career production to be on pace. He’s currently at 839 after Tuesday’s win over Olivet. Perry has at least seven games left barring no winter snow-outs, meaning he needs to average 23 points to hit the mark. Perry’s Division 2 district is tough — unbeaten Ovid-Elsie is the obvious front-runner — so Leykauf will need to make the most of his remaining opportunities.
200 coaching wins
Kris Smith, Morrice girls — Smith is at 193 with four regular-season games to go. He might get there if Morrice wins its district — but it’s a tough field that includes Fowler and Portland St. Patrick, which has already beaten the Orioles. Also not helping the cause is the cancellation of a matchup with Carson-City Crystal early in December.
150 coaching wins
Doug Hurst, Laingsburg girls — Hurst has 139 victories with five regular-season contests to go. Unless there’s a massive run in the postseason by the Wolfpack, look for him to get there next winter.
Dave Owens, Owosso boys — A 30-game Owosso losing streak did no favors for Owens (136 wins). Perhaps the Trojans can turn a corner next season and get him over the hump — Owosso is, mind you, just two seasons removed from a 12-9 campaign in 2017-18.
100 coaching wins
Brady Simons, New Lothrop boys — As mentioned last year, Simons previously coached varsity prior to New Lothrop, so he’s already well over 100. He’s at 94 for his Hornets tenure, which gives him a realistic shot at the century mark by the end of season.