FOUKE, Ark. — Thousands of hours of practice led to a thousand points.
Mallory Oliver, a senior at Fouke High School, scored her 1,000th point in a game against Centerpoint on Friday.
In the fourth quarter against Centerpoint, Oliver used a cross-over and side step to open up some room. She knocked down a 3-pointer, which brought her high school career total to 1,001 points.
"I was excited when I scored my 1,000th point," Oliver said. "I didn't know that I had scored it on Friday. I knew that I was getting close."
She has been playing basketball since the third grade. Oliver helped lead Fouke Junior High to a perfect season during her freshman year. During that year, the Lady Panthers were conference and district champions. She has been a starter on the Senior High team since she was a sophomore.
"I like competing and I like to win," Oliver said. "Basketball has brought me a lot of friendships."
Fouke head coach Mo Williams is in his eighth year as the girls head coach.
"Mallory sees the floor as good as anyone," Williams said. "She has vision that can't be coached. She makes some passes that others don't make. Mallory is a great passer, also last year she had 117 steals. She gets a lot of deflections and causes turnovers.
"A lot of the scoring is attributed to our style of play. We shoot a lot of 3-pointers, which in turn helps us score a lot of points. The way we play allows for the players to have an opportunity to score. A lot of the credit goes into the kids buying in, working and doing the things that they need to do."
Recent players to score 1,000 points for Fouke include Hannah Mauldin, Crysta Larey and Taylor Hardin. Oliver helped the team win the district championship during her sophomore year. The Panthers won the regional championship last year.
"We've had a group of kids that have been talented, offensively," Williams said. "The group, which included Mallory, have been successful since the seventh grade. We have progressed, and our team has been in the top five in the state in scoring the last four years. We've had a really good team and it is because of the players like Mallory, Taylor (Hardin) and Jade (Perry). They have kept the program up because of their talent and hard work."
"Everything we try to do is to glorify God," Williams said. "So we don't really have a staple. We like what the Gazette coined—win by the 3, live by the 3. It has meaning on the court but also means God, family and sports."