TIOGA — It was a move like the hundreds of others Brittney Fields has made over the course of her four years as a starter for the Lady Pirates.
Receiving the ball on the right block in the middle of the third quarter, the senior center made her way through the lane, sweeping to the left side of the basket for a layup. This one counted like all the others — two points — but meant so much more.
The shot produced the 2,000th point of Fields’ career and was a prelude to one classmate Carrie Johnson will reach, most likely next week, after the Lady Pirates defeated Tioga, 87-22, in District 12-2A action.
“It’s exciting,” said Fields, who has an outside shot at grabbing 1,500 career rebounds depending on how deep Collinsville goes in the playoffs. “I never really kept track of it. Not a lot of people do that.”
Not a lot of people do what Johnson is about to achieve. Her 16 points against Tioga leave her 43 shy of getting 3,000 points in her standout career.
“It’s an elite club. It’s almost like, ‘is this really happening?’” Johnson said. “I’ve known since I was younger that shooting was my thing.”
Earlier this month Johnson set the National Federation of High School Sports record for most three-pointers in a career when she nailed her 501st to surpass Ashley Wirtzberger, who played for Gila Bend, Ariz., from 2007-10.
“I don’t think anybody gets into basketball to set a national record,” she said. “Once I reach (3,000 points), the only other thing that could top my career is a state championship. That’s the only thing left to do is get that ring.”
After going 31-2 last season with a region quarterfinal loss in overtime, the Lady Pirates know there is a bigger picture in front of them.
“I told them at the beginning of the season that what we did last year, 31-2, that’s not normal. Losing six games has humbled us,” Collinsville head coach Daniel Johnson said. “Our region is really loaded. I’m excited about the playoffs but we need to be focused on every game before then, and that starts with Friday night.”
In the meantime, a milestone or two can be celebrated.
“Those two kids deserve it. Brittney’s really good. She’s a ball player and I can’t say enough about how she’s practiced. She’s extremely athletic for her size. I’m glad she’s on our team,” Daniel Johnson said. “CJ, she knows she has to work to be good. Fifteen minutes before practice and 30 minutes after she’s out there shooting. Never in my life did I think she’d have 3,000 points.
“My top five are pretty good. I can’t say enough about the whole group. They work for everything they get.”
Gracie Cavin added 12 points, Katy Claytor chipped in 11 points, Katie Johnson and Fields each finished with 10 points and Lexie Martin contributed nine points for Collinsville (22-6, 4-0), which closes out the first half of district play by hosting fourth-place Lindsay on Friday night.
Brianna Bradley and Rylee Alexander each finished with six points, Olivia Northcutt added five points, Gracie Masengale grabbed seven rebounds and Emerson Rhymes chipped in six rebounds for Tioga (2-17, 0-4), which plays at Tom Bean on Friday.
The Lady Pirates hit eight three-pointers in the first quarter and finished with 12 as seven different players made a shot from long range.
“When we’re hot, we’re pretty good. Earlier in the year we were pretty hot,” Daniel Johnson said. “We’re getting back to that place. When you have five seniors out there, you can do a lot of different things.”
Collinsville jumped on Tioga with the game’s first eight points behind three-pointers from Carrie Johnson and Cavin. Northcutt hit a jumper for the Lady Bulldogs with 5:23 left in the opening quarter and the Lady Pirates followed with a 24-0 run over the next four minutes.
Katie Johnson hit a pair of three-pointers during the surge — Collinsville made four in the stretch — and Tioga struggled against the Lady Pirates’ pressure to the tune of 12 turnovers. Collinsville was up 32-2 when Alexander ended the run with two free throws at the one-minute mark and the Lady Pirates extended their advantage to 37-4 as the second quarter began.
The lead got to 40 on Madison Ashton’s three in the middle of the frame and nearly sat at 50 when half-time arrived — Katie Johnson’s layup with 19 seconds to go had Collinsville ahead 57-9 at the break.
The Lady Bulldogs had their best eight-minute stretch right after half-time, holding Collinsville to a game-low 15 points and scoring seven on their end but the big early deficit meant that the Lady Pirates still held a 56-point margin by the finish of the third quarter.
Claytor’s three to open the fourth quarter gave Collinsville a 75-16 advantage at that point and Rhymes’ putback with just over three minutes remaining got Tioga on the board for the first time in the quarter.