In last Friday’s girls’ basketball game against Portsmouth High School, Barrington’s senior standout, Maura Kelty, may not have had the highest point game of her high school career, but when she scored the first seven on her 15-point night, she became the first Barrington girl to reach 1,000 points in a four year high school career, all on a Division I team.
Head coach, Stephen Lenz, anticipated her reaching the milestone during the game, but kept that information from Kelty and the rest of the team leading up to Friday’s game. Their focus, he said, was playing well against the tough Portsmouth team, narrowly beating them 48-43 in the end.
“I told the team right before the game that she’d probably hit 1,000 tonight,” Mr. Lenz said.
And other than Maura’s parents, coaches, and a handful of friends, Maura’s second three-point shot of the night, a jumpshot made halfway through the first half, put the Eagles ahead 15-14 and put the team captain into the record books.
By the time the ball dropped through the net, fans in the stands and the team erupted in celebration, prompting an impromptu timeout. Before the game, Mr. Lenz also let the Portsmouth coach, Richard Glover, to expect a sudden timeout.
Since Mr. Glover had coached Kelty on travel teams and knew her ability, he shared in the excitement of her achievement while hoping to prevent her from scoring at all, covering her with two Patriot defensemen for most of the night.
After the basket, Maura instinctively began to run toward the Portsmouth side of the court to assume her defense position. When the buzzer interrupted play, she looked puzzled, wondering why the game was halted.
Those who anticipated the moment quickly unfurled a banner that congratulated her on achievement, as her mother carried balloons in the shape of 1-0-0-0 across the court.
Maura was swarmed by her teammates as she realized what just occurred, as tears of excitement welled in her eyes.
“I thought it was a timeout at first,” she said. “I’m definitely excited.”
Only six other basketball players have reached the 1,000 point mark while playing at Barrington High School, said Mr. Lenz.
“Maura is the first girl to get 1,000 points playing all four years in Division 1,” he said. “Maura is an exceptional athlete and more importantly, a wonderful person. She deserves this and I am proud of her representation of Barrington girls’ basketball.”
In the fall, Maura Kelty signed her letter of intent to attend Caldwell College on a basketball scholarship.
On Monday morning, Mr. Lenz received some other news regarding the high school standout.
She “has been nominated for Gatorade Player of the Year. The final decision on the award will come at the end of March,” Mr. Lenz said.
The win over Portsmouth was hard fought.
“Our strategy was to not let Sarah Middleton shoot from the outside, and block Kelty to the right,” Mr. Glover said.
The strategy worked, holding Middleton to an 8 point game, but leaving other opportunities open for Grace Coutu to score 11 and Grace Restituyo adding 8 to the win.
“They have the best defense in the division,” Mr. Lenz said of the Portsmouth team.
The win put the Eagles at 12-2 in D-I Central, with four games remaining on their regular schedule. The Eagles traveled to St. Mary-Bay View on Tuesday and will host Exeter/West Greenwich on Friday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.