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Smithtown East's Samantha Delaney gets 1,000th career point

Smithtown East's Samantha Delaney receives a game ball

Smithtown East's Samantha Delaney receives a game ball from head coach Tom Vulin celebrating the 1,000th career point after the game against Bay Shore on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

It was not supposed to happen Thursday for Samantha Delaney.

Whenever someone mentioned how close she was to getting her 1,000th career point for Smithtown East during a 68-43 League II girls basketball win over Bay Shore, Delaney would tell them: "Ssssh!''

"If it happens,'' she would say, "it happens.''

She entered the game needing 45 points to reach the milestone. But then she entered the second half needing 22 points. Then she entered the fourth quarter needing only six.

Then it happened.

She stepped to the free-throw line needing two points and made both, giving her 45 points and 1,000 in her five-season career. A career day led to a milestone day, which combined to form a memorable day.

"I'm shocked,'' said Delaney, whose previous career high was 35. "This was a nice surprise. I'm so glad I was able to do it on my home court.''

Delaney, a 6-2 forward bound for Saint Michael's College in Vermont, couldn't be stopped inside. She scored 16 of her 23 first-half points in the second quarter, including a layup off a feed from Alexandra Schultz that capped a 10-0 run and opened a 24-11 lead with 5:18 left in the half.

Delaney scored all 16 of the Bulls' points in the third quarter, many on putbacks -- she grabbed 12 rebounds -- and fast breaks.

"It's a big milestone for her,'' Smithtown coach Tom Vulin said, "so I wanted her to achieve it in front of her family and friends.''

Victoria Pearce scored 29 points for Bay Shore (1-4). She eluded defenders and slashed to the basket, scoring all 18 of the Marauders' points in the second half. NyeDia Harris had seven points.

Haley Anderson, who had eight points and six assists, ignited many fast breaks for Smithtown (5-0), delivering perfect outlet passes to Delaney for easy buckets in transition.

"I thought that she was feeling it today,'' Anderson said, "so we kept getting her the ball.''

Added Delaney: "The guards pushing it up the floor was huge because then I was able to run up the floor and put it up.''

An announcement was made when Delaney converted her milestone-setting free throw. After the game, she was awarded the game ball with "1,000'' written on it.

"This ball will always remind me of this great day and how my team helped get me here,'' she said. "I did not think today would be the day.''

She made it happen.

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