ARLEE – The defending Class C runners-up celebrated program history last week. The Arlee Scarlets honored junior post Alyssia Vanderburg, after the all-state center scored her 1,000th point earlier this season. The milestone came in a game at Valley Christian on Saturday, Jan. 20.

“It was an out-of-bounds play and I drove in and shot a jump shot. At first it was really hard because I kept missing all my shots,” Vanderburg said. “I feel like people were jinxing me, like, ‘What if you don’t get to 1,000 tonight?’ and I was like ‘Oh my God.’”

Vanderburg, who has scored 35 points on two separate occasions this season, was presented with a special basketball after the Scarlets’ home game against Plains on Thursday, Jan. 25.

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“It was really cool because my aunt painted it for me, she’s an artist. That made me feel better after the loss (to Plains) we had,” she said.

Vanderburg and Arlee fell to Belt, 62-33, in last year’s Class C championship game. The 6-foot-1 post says she and her teammates were motivated for this season, where the junior had goals of reaching 1,000 points and also leading the Scarlets back to the state tournament.

“Ever since I started playing high school basketball, that was my goal at the end of my senior year, but I got it my junior year, which is pretty cool,” Vanderburg said of the 1,000 points. “It’s only halfway through the season and it’s crazy to me, it’s just really crazy how fast I got to this milestone. I thought it would happen my senior year.”

“It was hard after we lost in the state championship, and right after I knew we would get back to that point this year,” she continued. “How much it hurt losing, it was just a sucky feeling.”

Arlee’s Alyssia Vanderburg holds up a basketball painted by her aunt, honoring her 1,000th career point. (MTN Sports photo)

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