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Louden scores 1,000th point as Lady Devils crush Hundred

Scoring 1,000 points was always a dream for Beallsville junior Ashlie Louden.

The Lady Devils’ All-Ohio guard knew she had the possibility.

Entering high school, she assumed, if it were going to happen, it would probably be during her senior season.

But, partially due to necessity and more so due to their talent, Louden and fellow classmates Ashley Howell and Jadyn Gabel saw significant time on the court during their freshmen year.

The increased time led to more scoring than she anticipated and Louden knew there was a possibility she’d accomplish the feat during her junior campaign.

Entering Beallsville game against Paden City Saturday, Jan. 26, Louden sat at 973, only 27 points shy of 1,000 for her career.

Louden scored 16 points in the game. She could have had more, and said she hoped to get closer, but the game was out of reach at halftime and Beallsville coach Tori Jarrett went to her bench early in the third quarter.

Louden admitted she preferred to hit 1,000 at home anyway. She wanted to do it in front of her friends and family instead of on the road.

Her next opportunity was a game against Hundred Tuesday, Jan. 29 at Beallsville High School.

There was a chance the weather might delay the game, but only frigid temperatures reared its head, so Louden took the court only 11 points away.

Louden wasted little time getting close. She tallied eight quick points in the first 4:00 of the first quarter.

Only three points away, she said she got a little nervous.

She took an open 3, but it was off the mark. An easy lay-up would have got her closer, but it didn’t fall either.

Those misses didn’t matter much. They only delayed the inevitable really.

Beallsville had a more-than-comfortable lead. The Lady Blue Devils started the game on a 19-0 run and led 29-2 after the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, Louden took aim from outside and drilled a 3, for points 998, 999 and 1,000.

She described the moment as “a big relief.”

The game was temporarily halted so the fans and Beallsville coaches and administration could have a moment.

Beallsville Athletic Director Delmas Moore presented Louden with the game ball, as well as a case to put it in to display it at the school.

In addition, he presented her with a 1,000-point jacket in Beallsville blue.

“Ashlie is the fifth member of her family to play here and the second to reach 1,000 points,” Moore said. “Not only is she a great athlete, she’s a great young lady and a great representative of our school. She put in the time and work to become a tremendous basketball player.”

Jarrett shared that sentiment of how hard Louden worked to achieve her goal.

Louden was the second player Jarrett coached to reach the milestone. Talitha Bedford scored her 1,000th point during the 2016-2017 season.

While seeing Bedford have success was a nice moment, something was different about seeing Louden do it.

“She deserves this,” Jarrett said. “She deserves it because she worked hard for it. She reminds me of myself. So I’m happy to see her get it. She genuinely loves the game. She works hard during the preseason. She put a lot of work into it to get it. I’m happy for her.”

Louden herself admitted the goals she has achieved came thanks to plenty of effort on her end.

She plays AAU basketball during the offseason and finds time to shoot with her father and brother.

While Jarrett sees some of herself in Louden, Louden said having two coaches, Jarrett and assistant Alyssa Tolzda who scored 1,000 points inspired her and showed her to path to doing it herself.

“They are both hard workers and I look up to them,” she said.

Louden didn’t plan to slow down now that she’s reach 1,000 points.

She knows 2,000 would be a challenge. Even eclipsing Beallsville’s all-time scoring leader Charity Street would be difficult, as she’d need close to 700 more points to catch her.

But Louden planned to continue doing what she’s always done.

“I want to keep getting better,” Louden said. “I’m going to keep working on my shooting, dribbling and defense to be a better all-around player.”

In addition, there are the even more important team goals.

“We want to win the OVAC (Ohio Valley Athletic Conference) and sectional,” Louden said.

After Louden scored her 1,000th point and before she was bombarded with celebratory T.P. in a postgame celebration, Louden and the Lady Devils took another step closer toward those goals by easily handling Hundred in a 75-13 to improve to 15-3 on the season.

The game was never really in doubt after the Lady Devils’ opening salvo and Beallsville overpowered Hundred on both ends of the floor, scoring nearly at will, especially when the starters were in the game, and suffocating Hundred on defense.

Louden finished with 19 points, giving her 1,008 for her career.

Howell had a solid game, finishing with 15 points, while Makenna Phillips added 14.

Now Beallsville will focus on its next challenge, Wheeling Central on Thursday, Jan. 31 and the all-important OVAC Class 1A semifinal Monday, Feb. 4 against Cameron.

Monroe County Beacon

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