TURBEVILLE -- The 2,000 point club has a new member: East Clarendon High School sophomore guard Talaysia Cooper.
Cooper scored her 1,000th career point as an eighth-grader on Feb. 23 2018, and then scored her 2,000th career point with her first …
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Cooper scored her 1,000th career point as an eighth-grader on Feb. 23 2018, and then scored her 2,000th career point with her first basket in EC's 72-49 victory over Kingstree on Tuesday.
She finished with a triple-double of 38 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists to go with six blocked shots.
"It's big," said East Clarendon head coach Mike Lowder whose team improved to 13-3 overall and 5-0 in Region VII-2A. "It's big for her as an individual, it's big for the school. It may happen again (at East Clarendon), but it may not happen again. I think history was made tonight."
Cooper's historic mark has her in line for a run at the South Carolina state points record held by York Comprehensive High School's Ivory Latta. Latta scored 4,319 points between 1997 and 2003 before winning National Player of the Year honors for the University of North Carolina and then embarking on a successful career in the WNBA.
Is 4,000 points even possible?
"It's conceivable," said Lowder. "Yeah, I think 3,500 is realistic. I've never coached a 2,000-point girl; 1,500 is the most I've ever coached. I've had two 1,000-point girls and one 1,500-pointer, but never 2,000."
The Lady Wolverines jumped out to an early lead behind eight points from Cooper, but Kinsgtree battled back to cut their deficit to just 16-15 after the first quarter.
East Clarendon held Kingstree to just four points in the second quarter, and then outscored the Lady Jaguars 41-30 in the second half to cruise to the 23-point victory. Cooper saved her best for last, scoring 13 points in the fourth quarter in-between several slick passes that led to easy baskets for senior forwards Rhamey Floyd and Valencia Garris.
"Our post players are vital," said Lowder." A lot of people want the 3-point shooter, and, yeah I like that, but give me those bigs. Rhamey and Valencia, oh my gosh, they were strong on the glass, rebounding the ball and actually putting the ball on the square and scoring. That was big for us tonight."
East Clarendon's boys team was also victorious, surviving a late push from Kingstree for a 74-69 overtime victory.
The Wolverines led 56-40 heading into the fourth quarter before the Jaguars made a frantic run to send the game into overtime.
Senior guard Tyjhai Calvin recorded a triple-double for East Clarendon with 27 points, 10, rebounds and 10 assists to go with eight steals. Calvin scored six of EC's 10 points in overtime, knocking down four clutch free throws in the final minutes.
Senior Jaquil Wilson added 11 points, and senior Jalen Bryant notched 10. Senior Marquis Pearson scored nine points to go with 11 rebounds and six blocks.
The Wolverines are 11-3 overall and 5-0 in region play.
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