Girls’ basketball: Arnold achieves milestone

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AUBURN — After missing significant time during her freshman year, Ashlee Arnold dismissed any notion of scoring 1,000 points.

“I was out half the season,” said the Edward Little senior, who missed time because of a concussion. “I didn’t think I had a chance after that.”

The girl with the deft shooting touch from the outside developed into a complete player. Her shots not only came from the 3-point arc but also in the paint and at the foul line. Her points started to accumulate.

“She’s been able to be a good all-around scorer,” said EL coach Craig Jipson. “She’s been able to do it from every angle.”

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Last year, Arnold discovered the 1,000-point milestone wasn’t so elusive.

“My Dad told me I actually had a chance,” Arnold said. “So that started motivating me more. I had no idea until last year.”

Last Friday, Arnold reached that goal and did it in her typical fashion. She swished a 3 from the corner in the first half.

“It felt really good,” Arnold said. “I was happy that I finally made it. I was really happy about it. It was exciting.”

Arnold finished with 28 points that night in a win over Lawrence. Coming into the game, she only needed two points. She likely could have done it in a win against Mt. Blue earlier in the week, but she wanted to do it at home.

“I was really nervous at first,” Arnold said. “Then I finally started to relax. Coach (Jipson) took me aside and told me I had to relax.”

She actually had a chance to get the points from the free throw line, where she is shooting 82 percent. She hit the first, but missed the second.

Arnold became just the fifth female in Edward Little history to score 1,000, and the sixth player overall. Only Tammy Paradie, Carolyn Brown, Brittney French and Kirsten Prue managed to achieve it on the girls’ side, while Troy Barnies reached the milestone with the boys’ program.

The 1,000-point scorers are all honored on a banner in the EL gym.

“It’s really nice,” said Arnold, who’s averaging around 19 points per game this year. “It means a lot. Seeing Kirsten up there, and I played with her. It’s pretty cool.”

Jipson coached both Arnold and Prue as they made a place for themselves in EL history.

“I think it says a lot about her especially because she’s not a typical 1,000-point scorer. She played with Kirsten and Frankie Lally and Kory Norcross. They all score a lot of points. Even though she’s been our leading scorer the last two or three years, we’ve had other kids that have always scored.”

Jipson credits Arnold for her leadership and maturity this year. She’s taken her game a step forward and been a leader on a club that should be a contender in Eastern A next month.

“It’s the hardest she’s ever practiced,” Jipson said. “We talked the last few years about upping her level of intensity in practice. A lot of things have come naturally for her. This year we talked about taking her game to another level. This year, it’s showing. She’s turned herself into a really good player and into a kid that has to be a candidate for Miss Maine Basketball.”

Arnold said her teammates have been a huge part of her success and that guard Kate Sawyer has probably assisted on most of her points.

Her Red Eddies (9-2) are currently the top team in Eastern A and host Mt. Ararat (10-1) Friday night. EL has a chance at the top seed, another spot in the KVAC championship and will be a contender to reach the regional final again, where it lost to Cony last year.

So there’s still work to do for Arnold and the Red Eddies.

“We definitely have a lot of goals,” Arnold said. “We’re really focused, and I think we’re going to go a long way.”

kmills@sunjournal.com

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