The possibility existed of teammate Emily Kirchner joining teammate Allie Sievert in the exclusive 1,000-point club was a possibility from the beginning of the 2012-13 season.
The milestone occurred Tuesday night as Emily scored 13 points against Spirit Lake in a 51-36 victory.
The ELC crowd erupted with loud cheers when she scored the basket to reach 1,000 points and coach Tony Klein immediately called a timeout.
ELC’s Emily Kirchner (21) thrives on the baseline whether powering to the basket, passing to a teammate or getting offensive rebounds.
EDN photo by David Swartz
Emily said the crowd's reaction startled her.
"But that was so cool," she said. "I lot of people have been saying t'thank you' and congratulations."
The senior now has 1,003 points with two regular season games left plus the postseason.
The road to this point began a few years ago as Emily remembers shooting baskets in her grandparents' driveway.
"I remember playing 'P-I-G,' but I wasn't strong enough then to shoot.
With Allie and her classmates, Emily also was invited to play with a team from Armstrong.
"We scrimmaged 3-on-3 and they were the Mini-Mustangs," Emily said.
When the players from Estherville created their own team, Emily said they kind of stole the name with their Mini-Midgets.
"We were going to have white t-shirts with markers, but then our parents kind of took over," she said.
Emily said the Mini-Midgets had their rivals.
"We always lost to this one 'attack' team and then we eventually won," she said.
She said she's taken something from each of the coaches along the way.
"The Mini-Midgets were all about fun and we'd all receiving equal playing time," she said. "We'd share the ball and not get too serious."
Cathy McCauley and Jeff Sievert coached the Mini-Midgets through eighth grade.
She credits her parents, Bob and Lisa, along with her teammates'parents for helping the group along the way.
"They sacrificed their time on the weekends and paid for the gas," Emily said. "They spent a lot of weekends in a hot gym and gave up a lot for us to do this."
Emily said other coaches taught them some more of the skills they needed-Steve Loy, Amber Pruin, Doug Lago, Brad Leonard and Anne Fiene.
When she reached the high school level, Emily said didn't think much of starting varsity since her friends-Allie and Sara Heywood-were starters too.
"The older girls also didn't make you feel like freshman," she said.
Prior to this final season, Emily's highest-scoring season was 2011 when the Midgets made the Class 2A State final. Kirchner finished the season with 307 points and was named to the All-Tournament team after the Midgets finished as runner-up to Odebolt-Arthur/Battle Creek-Ida Grove.
"That was a surprise," she said of the honor. "I didn't think I was that good."
Kirchner did finish with 36 points and 20 rebounds along with nine assists and seven steals for the three tournament games.
On the court, Kirchner makes a majority of her points on drives from the baseline.
"I like being down there because I can see everything and make a pass from there to anyone," she said.
Kirchner, who also runs track and has started all four years on the softball team, said her favorite sport is whatever one she's playing at the time.
Balancing academics and athletics hasn't been a problem for Emily, who said the coaches know what priorities come first.
"Prior to state, we had a study table so that we could work ahead," she said. "Coach (Tony) Klein reminds us to study for finals."
Her plans after high school are uncertain at this point, but she knows she wants to pursue pharmacy.
As for Emily and her five senior teammates-Allie, Sara, Casey Sievert, Macy Dahl and Maggie McCauley-they still have some work to do with a game at LeMars on Friday and a final regular season battle against Western Christian at home next Tuesday. Next comes a playoff run which begins at home at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9 against Algona.
|Emily Kirchner career scoring statistics through Jan. 29, 2013|
|Year||G||Pts||Pts/G||FGM||FGA||FG%||3PTM||3PTA||3 %||FTM||FTA||FT %|
|Midgets who have scored 1,000|
|*Allie Sievert (‘12-13)||1,168|
|Christa Clayton (‘07-08)||1,158|
|*Emily Kirchner (‘12-13)||1,003|
|Kim Howard (1978)||2,686|
|Megan Robinson (1990)||1,790|
|Diane Nauss (1982)||1,651|
|Mel Howard (1989)||1,456|
|Brenda Bixby (1987)||1,326|
|Janice DeMoss (1991)||1,281|
|Brenda Arment (1982)||1,248|
|Diana Meyer (1985)||1,166|
|**Stats compiled by former|
|EHS?coach Les Lammers|