The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Mt. Hebron senior guard Tori Valentine scored her 1,000th career point in the Vikings’ 60-49 loss to Reservoir Friday to make the Valentines the first mother-father-daughter trio to each score 1,000 points in Howard County history.
“It was really cool,” Valentine said. “I was really proud to have everyone here and to share that moment with my teammates.”
Tori’s mother, Kacy, scored 1,193 points for Hammond. A member of the class of 1994, Kacy Valentine (formerly Williams), is sixth all time on the Hammond scoring list. Tori’s father, Craig, scored 1,414 points for Wilde Lake and ranks seventh on the Howard County all-time scoring list. A member of the class of 1989, Craig Valentine is the leading scorer in Wildecats history.
“They’ve invested so much in me to get me to where I am," Tori Valentine said. “I’m really thankful for them.”
Tori Valentine, who ended the game with 27 points, entered her senior season at 999 career points. The Towson University track commit missed her first two shots from the field and two free throws in the first few minutes. She said she was “very nervous” early in the game, but a put-back layup midway through the opening period drew roars from the packed crowd, which was full of Hebron fans who held up pieces of paper with the number 1,000.
“It’s incredible. She’s so much more than a great basketball player. She’s a great person,” said Mt. Hebron head coach Tierney Ahearn. “Her parents were great players and her brother is phenomenal, too. They’re all such wonderful people.”
Reservoir head coach Deb Taylor said she has “great respect” for Valentine as a player and person. Mt. Hebron’s season ended last year with a 50-49 defeat at the hands of Reservoir in the playoffs, during which a late put back by Valentine that would’ve been her 1,000th point didn’t fall through.
“Any coach would love to have her on their team,” Taylor said. “She’s a good kid, and that makes it easier to root for her.”
While Valentine’s achievement was the biggest event of the game, Reservoir (1-0 Howard County, 1-0), led by Tiffany Hooker’s 26 points, defeated the host Vikings (0-1, 0-1) in both teams’ season opener.
“It was very awesome to see Tori get that,” Hooker said. “My first year of basketball, I played AAU with Tori. I really respect her as a player.”
Taylor said Hooker, who is the Gators’ top returning player, did a good job of being the key of the opposing defense, a role that was played in part last season by Emily Dorn.
“She’s pretty good, huh?,” Taylor said. “The league will key on her, and despite Hebron keying on her, she still performed. She’s actually better than that; she’s got more in the tank, and she’s going to get better every day.”
Hooker shot 10 of 23 from the field and made four 3-pointers in the triumph. The senior guard, who averaged 17 points per game last season, scored 11 of Reservoir’s 15 first-quarter points to lead a team that only returns two starters.
“Last year, my shot was my big thing,” Hooker said. “During the offseason, I wanted to get bigger, so I can take it to the hoop more. That fuels my game now. If I can drive, they won’t play me for the shot. Then when I hit the shot, they have to play me for both.”
Valentine ended the first quarter with seven points as Hebron and Reservoir ended the first period tied at 15. Reservoir ended the second and third quarters up five and six points, respectively, but couldn’t pull away until the final period.
Maddy Davis, who chipped in with 12 points, made a key layup with a few minutes left, and Kate Abunassar made a clutch 3-pointer in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
“Maddy Davis was terrific, and Kate Abunassar didn’t score as much as she’s capable of, but she’s so smart and does things that coaches see that others may not pick up on,” Taylor said.
The Vikings kept battling in the fourth quarter, but their inability to make jump shots (1 of 15 from behind the arc) or free throws (12 of 26) hampered their comeback efforts.
“That crushed us,” Ahearn said of the free-throw shooting. “We have a really young team. Tori is our only senior. We have to give them some time and keep getting better. I’m not worried.”
The Vikings are back in action Monday at Westminster, while Reservoir’s next game is Wednesday at Hammond.
Reservoir 60, Mt. Hebron 49
Re (1-0, 1-0): T. Hooker 26, M. Davis 12, K. Abunassar 8, R. Malwitz 6, K. Holmes 3, L. Dudzinski 3, D. Moultrie 2.
MH (0-1, 0-1): T. Valentine 27, A. Unkenholz 7, K. Milano 7, E. Dixon 4, R. Vidal 2, A. Harrington 2.
River Hill 63, Hammond 16
Anhyia Smith, Saniha Jackson and Kennedy Clark led River Hill (1-0, 1-0) to a season-opening win over Hammond. Smith led all scorers with 21 points, while Jackson and Clark chipped in with 18 and 14, respectively.
RH (1-0, 1-0): Smith 21, Jackson 18, Clark 14, Devine 6, Moore 2, McCullough 2.
Ha (0-1, 0-1): Brown 5, Fogle 4, Smoot 3, Woodson 2, Thomas 2.
Halftime: 47-7, RH
Howard 52, Atholton 24
Five Lions scored seven-plus points in Howard’s dominant 52-24 win over Atholton to open both teams’ seasons. Gabby Scott (13), Marisa Sanchez-Henry (11), Anii Harris (10), Lily Fritz (seven) and Camille Malagar (seven) led the Lions’ scoring. Howard’s defense held the Raiders to five made baskets the entire game and tallied 17 steals, as the Lions led 49-11 after three quarters. Scott added five rebounds, Malagar had four assists. Laila Cowsette paced the Raiders with nine points
Ho (1-0, 1-0): G. Scott 13, M. Sanchez-Henry 11, A. Harris 10, Fritz 7, C. Malagar 7, S. Nasir 4.
A (0-1, 0-1): L. Cowsette 9, T. Kidd 4, K. Munro 3, M. McCabe 2, M. Hargrett 2, K. Brown 2, S. Mims 2.
Halftime: 28-9, Ho
Glenelg 45, Long Reach 16
Freshmen led the way in Glenelg’s 45-16 win over Long Reach. Freshman Lauren LaPointe scored 10 points to pace the Gladiators, while Tamir Whittle scored half of the Lightning’s points with eight.
G (1-0, 1-0): L. LaPointe 10, A. Gillespie 10, J. Hirsch 9, L. Davis 5, K. Laport 5, S. Salafia 2, A. Cook 2, M. Sloan 2.
LR (0-1, 0-1): T. Whittle 8, A. Nagle 3, R. Baldwin 2, O. Aofolaju 2, S. Sims 1.
Halftime: 22-8, G
Marriotts Ridge 51, Centennial 28
One night after Kendall Bryan hit a game-winning 3-pointer to defeat Liberty, Bryan scored nine points and had five assists in the Mustangs’ win. Senior Caroline Crawford chipped in with 10 points and four boards, while Emma Miller scored four points and dished out four assists. Brook Anderson led Centennial with 15 points.
MR (1-0, 2-0): C. Crawford 10, K. Bryan 9, E. Morath 7, K. Lee 7, M. Lee 6, L. Schanck 4, E. Miller 3, C. Del Monte 3, N. Held 2.
C (0-1, 0-1): B. Anderson 15, L. Pellegrini 4, O. Jackson 4, T. Pearson 2, O. Reese 2, A. Urquiaga 1.
Halftime: 26-14, MR