PILOT MOUNTAIN — January has proved to be a good month in numbers for girls basketball players with local ties.
A 2010 East Surry graduate, Kelsey Long, recently marked a career high of 31 points while playing basketball for Belmont Abbey College. Surry Runnin’ Patriot Sydney Bedsaul recently hit a career high with 33 points.
Long is a college junior who plays under Coach Susan Yow. Long called the career high for the Crusaders the best game that she has had so far. She said the career high came as a surprise.
Long said the personal high was especially sweet because it came against Belmont Abbey’s biggest rival, Queens, on Jan.19.
“It felt great,” said Long. She also credited her teammates as part of her success in getting the high score.
Long said, “I was on, they knew I was, so they gave me the ball.”
Long said a former high school opponent, Greyhound Morgan Midkiff, now her teammate, helped make the 31 points possible by contributing eight assists.
Long said her top game at East Surry was 29 points. She said breaking the thirty-point scoring mark is less difficult in college because there are 40 minutes in the two halves versus 32 minutes in four eight-minute quarters played in high school.
Bedsaul’s coach, Todd Hill of the Surry Runnin’ Patriots said, “Breaking the 30-point mark in girl’s basketball in a single game is not easy.”
To get more than 30 points in a girl’s basketball game there are two things that have to happen, said Hill.
‘The girl has to be a player, that is, she is able to make offensive plays and score; and her teammates have to get her in a scoring position.”
Coach Hill said Bedsaul’s recent 33-point game happened in the last three quarters of the Runnin’ Patriots’ game against Carlisle in Axton, Va., on Jan. 8. He said Bedsaul’s teammates found her and she put in the shots.
“She has developed a tempo that has enabled her to go to the rim,” said Coach Hill. He further described Bedsaul as a player who brings fun and a competitive personality to the Surry team.
Coach Hill explained how scoring 30 points in girl’s basketball is different than boy’s. There are fewer ball possessions in girl’s play than in boy’s due to factors such as speed and repeated jump balls.
Coach Hill’s daughter, Kirby Hill Meadows, recorded a high game of 34 points as a Runnin’ Patriot in January 2006. Hill said that from 2003-08 his daughter scored six games of 30 points or more with her last gamebreaker performance (32 points) in 2008.
In the Northwest 1A/2A Conference, North Surry’s Kristina Rumplasch has reached as high as 25 and 28 points this season, both against West Stokes.
South Stokes point guard Kelli Mounce scored 27 points against Mount Airy this season.
East’s Keri Fulp, who broke the 1,000-point mark on Tuesday, has a season high of 26 points, according to MaxPreps.com.
North Coach Shane Slate agreed breaking the 30-point mark in a game does not happen often.
Slate said, “You have got to have a good night, the ball has to be going in and your teammate has to find you.”
Not coincidentally, when Rumplasch set a career high of 41 points last year in the state playoffs, the point guard finding her was Midkiff, who helped Long reach her high game this season. Midkiff had nine assists, and center Malaya Johnson had eight assists with several going to Rumplasch.
Long was the most recent Cardinal before Fulp to break the 1,000-point milestone, reaching it during her junior year. She is on the Presidential Honor Roll at Belmont Abbey and on the Dean’s List. She won the Sportsmanship Award at Belmont Abbey during her freshman and sophomore years.