By Travis Smola
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on high school sports schedules around the country. Seasons have been cut short or have been totally cancelled making some wonder if athletics are ever going to return to normal. For some athletes, the worry of missing out on their senior season has been a very real one.
But the season worked out for Vicksburg senior Hannah Vallier, giving her a shot not only to reach a career goal, but to cement her name in Bulldog basketball history. Often the leading scorer for her team, Vallier eclipsed 1,000 career points against Gull Lake and then broke the Vicksburg career scoring record.
Her 1,000th point came in the fourth quarter of a tough road loss to Gull Lake. She led the team with 13 points as the Bulldogs fell 55-32. However, she helped the team make up for that loss with a stunning 37-point effort in a 58-31 win against Niles in the season finale.
“She would have had 50 if she didn’t miss a bunch of layups and free throws,” Head Coach Tim Kirby noted.
With that performance, she ended the regular season with 1,051 career points.
As COVID-19 continued to cause problems before winter break, the start of basketball season kept getting delayed, making Vallier’s chances of getting to 1,000 career points look slim. Fortunately, indoor sports were given the green light to proceed in February, though in a condensed season.
“When our season got delayed, one of my biggest fears was that she wasn’t going to even have the opportunity to try and get there,” Kirby said. “We didn’t discuss it before the season because I didn’t want to add pressure to her. I’m just glad to be able to be a small part of her journey.”
Kirby gave Hannah all the credit for being able to reach this point. It was the culmination of four years of hard work.
“I’m so proud of Hannah, she set this as a personal goal as a freshman and she has worked tirelessly over the last four years to make that goal happen,” Kirby said.
By Travis Smola