Two Harbors senior Tori Bott not only scored 34 points to lead all scorers in the Agates' 55-33 victory over Ely on Friday, Dec. 21, she also reached a major milestone in her basketball career.
Midway through the first half of the game, Bott scored her 1,000th career point on a layup after being set up by junior Kate Thomasen.
"I remember cutting through to the basket and Kate just passed it in to me," Bott said. "There was a defender on me on the right block. I just turned around and had to make a move. Then it was just a right-handed layup."
With Bott's 34 points, Two Harbors cruised to the win, but the achievement was not always a foregone conclusion for the four-year starter. In eighth grade, Bott missed an entire season because of back surgery and a month of her junior year because of an ankle injury.
"Throughout all the injuries, it was still a goal of mine to reach 1,000 points but I didn't know if it was going to really happen just because I was faced with back surgery at a young age, my ankle injury and a variety of small injuries in between," Bott said. "But just through all the hard work and extra time I put into basketball...I knew if I just kept working toward it, it would happen."
Bott, the only senior on the Agate squad this season, said injuries to other players have been a challenge as well. Her freshman year, Ayla Lemke was lost before the season started to a knee injury. The next season a number of Agate starters, including Brianna McGrath and Katie Archer, were also lost to significant knee injuries.
The lack of continuity with teammates can make things challenging, but Bott feels like her experience as a young player on a senior-heavy team two years ago gives her a unique perspective on an Agate team with nine juniors this season.
"Bonding with that junior group has been a process, but it's been amazing, too," she said. "We've all connected so well, a lot of us play two sports together, some even three. It's just going really well and it's fun having an opportunity to be the oldest one on the team and being a leader on the court and off the court."
Two Harbors (4-4) is scheduled to play Silver Bay in the Two Harbors Holiday Tournament at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28.