Aurora Christian's Henning joins 1,000 club
Tori Henning couldn't have scripted a much better way to reach a career milestone Thursday night.
Henning, a 5-foot-8 junior guard, scored the 1,000th point of her career while helping lead Aurora Christian's girls basketball team to a 54-17 Northeastern Athletic Conference victory over Alden-Hebron in Aurora.
Entering the game 7 points shy of the mark, Henning eclipsed the magic 1,000-point barrier with 6:12 remaining in the second quarter on a 3-point play off a feed from junior teammate Lauren Richert.
"When I first caught it, I didn't really put the ball down right away and I thought I was going to travel," said Henning, who converted the right-hand layup despite being hammered on the play. "I actually thought that they (referees) weren't going to call it. When I went up for the layup, I was hoping it was going to go in and then they called a foul.
"An and-one is one of the best ways for me to get it. I was hoping that or a 3-pointer tonight but they weren't necessarily falling except for the first one."
Aurora Christian (14-7, 6-1) grabbed a 12-0 lead before Henning even attempted a shot as Dannielle Lopez scored 3 of the team's first 4 baskets while Alex Fry connected on a 3-pointer and Lauren Richert added a 3-point play.
Henning scored 5 consecutive points midway through the opening quarter, including a deep 3-pointer, before stepping to the foul line for a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left in the period.
After her first attempt spun around the rim and out, she swished the second try, leaving her a point short of the milestone.
"I really didn't want to get it on a free throw anyway so in a way it wasn't that bad," said Henning, who finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 blocked shots and a pair of steals. "It worked out better than I expected."
Henning joins Rachel Thompson (1995-99) and Alyssa Andersen (2010-14) in Aurora Christian's girls basketball 1,000-point club.
"The past two years offensively she has definitely carried the load for us," Eagles coach Burney Wilkie said of the 3-year varsity standout. "She has meant an awful lot to the program. I fully expect her to chase that all-time record next year which is 1,545 points (Thompson)."
"It's insane to think about," said Henning. "I'm just really thankful for my teammates."
Fry led the Eagles with 17 points, including five 3-pointers, while Lauren Richert had 9 points and 4 assists, and Sarah Wert added 7 points and 8 rebounds.
Kylee Winter had 8 points for Alden-Hebron (12-7, 4-4), which shot 6 of 56 from the field.
After scoring her 1,000th point, the game was stopped momentarily as Henning delivered the game ball to her parents in the stands.
"Most of my family was here, including my grandpa who comes to every single one of my games," said Henning. "It's his birthday today so that was cool."