OAK HARBOR – Genoa senior Haley Pickard twisted her knee Saturday in a victory over Tiffin Columbian and Comets coach Mike DeStazio wasn’t sure she would play in Tuesday’s game at Oak Harbor.
Pickard started against the Rockets and recorded her 1,000th career point with a jumper in the third quarter of a 40-37 setback. The milestone is a blur in Pickard’s memory.
“It was just so crazy,” she said. “It was an awesome feeling. I don’t even remember who passed it. It was really special. It’s a big accomplishment.”
Pickard’s bucket seemed to ignite the Comets, who scored the final 12 points in the third quarter. Pickard dropped in an off-balance, buzzer-beating floater off one foot for a 29-27 lead.
“After I shot that floater, I came in with the team and told them it was time to win,” Pickard said. “We played hard and played as a team.”
Pickard started strong, with eight points in the first quarter.
“I knew it would be tough to keep her off the floor,” DeStazio said. “She got some big scores. She does a great job finishing. She’s not a true go-to scorer, but she’ll get you points.”
Pickard is 5-feet, 5-inches tall but plays bigger than that. Pickard, who is athletic, strong and savvy, seems to see opportunities and loose balls develop in advance.
“She attacks the basket,” DeStazio said. “She’s a strong, confident senior who does a bit of everything. I’m not sure there is anybody that has a bigger heart. If she was 5-10 she’d be playing next to (Oak Harbor’s) Andrea at Bowling Green next year.”
Pickard doesn’t let her height stop her from doing anything.
“I’ve been this short for so long, it’s not a disadvantage,” she said. “It’s an advantage because I’ve always been this size. I’m not growing.”
Pickard, however, continues to improve.
“Not many people reach 1,000 points,” she said. “For me to get there is a big accomplishment. My teammates helped me. They gave me the ball when I was open. At the end of last year I realized I could get it. I just put my mind to it.”