Sam Olson puts the “point” in point guard.
The Enka senior scored her 1,000th career point Saturday night, finishing with a game-high 26 points as the Sugar Jets beat Mount Pleasant, 72-43, in the Coaches vs. Cancer Shootout at UNC Asheville.
Olson is a four-year starter for Enka (4-1) who had 14 of her points in the first half.
Taylor Clark (13 points) and Claire Moody (10) also reached double figures inside Kimmel Arena and the Sugar Jets never looked back after taking a commanding 27-9 lead after the first quarter.
Olson is one of three returning starters from last season’s 15-9 team along with Clark and Holly Banks, who had eight points Saturday. Macee Kirkpatrick added six.
“The great thing about this team is that everyone wants to see each other succeed,” Olson said.
“It is bittersweet that it’s my last season (of high school basketball) but I want it to be as fantastic as possible for my teammates. I’m a big fan of the Dr. Seuss quote: ‘Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.'”
Olson’s weighted grade-point average is around 5.0 and academics will dictate the former All-Mountain Athletic Conference backcourt player’s future. She might try to walk on at a larger college rather than accept a scholarship offer so that Olson can major in biomedical engineering.
“Sam is a special kind of kid and a special kind of player,” Enka girls coach Jerrod Boone said.
“She makes us go. She is a great scorer, but she’s so unselfish and does a great job finding her teammates.”
Saturday was the third installment of the Shootout which is an annual N.C. Basketball Coaches Association fundraiser for cancer awareness. The tournament is organized each year by Enka boys coach Brian Carver.
His team won its game Saturday (51-44 over Mount Pleasant) as did the Cherokee boys (79-64 over Kings Mountain).
Sage Turner scored nine of his team-high 15 points in the second quarter and Logan Neff added 14 for the Jets (1-4). Jake Crowe had nine points.
The Braves (1-0) made 13 shots from three-point range in their season opener. Three players scored in double figures for Cherokee — Jason McMillan (16), Logan Teesateskie (11) and Holden Straughn (10). Justus Day and Steven Straughn added nine apiece. The two teams combined for 57 points in a wild second quarter that allowed the Braves to take a 49-40 lead to halftime.