It's official. Broomfield girls basketball player Steph Peterson has 1,000 career points — 1,005 to be exact.
Just eight points stood between the Eagles senior and that benchmark before tip-off Thursday night against Monarch. For Peterson, who averages 15.5 points per game, the feat seemed well within reach.
It was no secret Eagle fans knew what was about to happen. "She's going to do it," fans said to each other during warmups. "Tonight's the night."
It was inevitable. It was fate. The only unknown was when it would happen.
After a well-earned free throw with 6:56 remaining in the first half, it happened. As the ball passed through the hoop, the senior held back a smile. Signs reading "Hit 1,000, Steph" were raised in the crowd as the game seemed to stop briefly as everyone in the building soaked it in.
"She knew that she was eight points away," Broomfield head coach Mike Croell said. "She had our first eight points. I think she just wanted to get it done and over with."
Peterson finished the night with 13 points in Broomfield's (20-3, 11-1 Front Range) comfortable 53-28 win over the Coyotes (14-9, 4-8 Front Range).
After a slow first-quarter start from both teams, Broomfield pulled away late in the first half as an Emma Rich 3-pointer confirmed a 27-15 Eagles lead going into halftime. As the game progressed, tough defense and junior Jessica Hoffman's hot hand — on her way to a game-most 20 points — slowly separated the league rivals. The Eagles allowed just 5 Coyotes points in the final quarter to clinch the 25-point victory.
"We've never started fast this whole year," coach Croell said. "As the flow settles in, generally it's been our defense. Our defense has been our calling card all year. Tonight we played full court man-to-man and that worked well. We have a lot of different looks we can throw at teams and we just keep throwing them out there until something works."
The 11th-straight league victory was certainly something for the Eagles to celebrate, but it's Peterson's 1,000-point career milestone that will be remembered. As a freshman, Peterson scored just 14 varsity points. She found confidence her sophomore and junior year and came into her senior season with 651 career points. After Thursday night's win, Peterson currently has 1,005 career points and will look to add on as BHS ventures through the Class 5A postseason.
"She's been our leader all year," Croell added. "Everything starts and stops with her. She's our best player and she played like it tonight — and that's what she needs to continue doing down the stretch."
For Peterson, the accomplishment is surreal. For Monarch senior Emerson Herrmann, however, it's all too familiar.
Peterson shares the spotlight with Herrmann, who reached 1,000 points in a 34-46 loss to Loveland last Tuesday and has been adding to the milestone ever since.
Steph Peterson and Emerson Herrmann are two players who, prior to Thursday night, couldn't be more different. The two play for different teams and even play different positions. One will continue her playing career in Oklahoma, and the other in California. One battles in the paint while the other finds her success beyond the arc.
After Peterson's free throw in the second quarter, however, the two stars will be known not for what separates them but rather for a significant accomplishment in prep sports they achieved nearly simultaneously.
A milestone they now share, and one the pair can smile about for years to come.
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Broomfield 53, Monarch 28
At Broomfield HS
MONARCH (14-9, 4-8)
Thrower 0 1-2 1, Kennie 0 1-2 1, Reading 2 0-0 6, Trujillo 0 0-1 0, A. Kennie 3 0-0 7, Herrmann 4 5-8 13. Totals 9 8-14 28.
BROOMFIELD (20-3, 11-1)
Peterson 3 6-6 13, Keeler 2 0-0 4, Wristen 1 0-2 3, Rich 2 0-0 4, Hoffman 7 3-3 20, Abeyta 2 0-0 4, Belton 0 1-2 1, Burgesser 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 10-13 53.
Score by quarters:Monarch 9 6 8 5 — 28
3-point field goals — Monarch (2): Reading 2; Broomfield (7): Hoffman 3, Rich 2, Peterson, Wristen. Total fouls — Monarch 12, Broomfield 13.