Slagus cracks 1,000 in BVA romp
Jessica Slagus was out to make a point Thursday night in Belle Vernon Area's Section 4 AAA tilt against Waynesburg.
Actually, make it 20 points. And she did it in a hurry.
When the 6-1 senior took a pass from junior Phaedra DeWitt on BVA's first possession of the second quarter, she drilled a three-pointer from the left wing, giving her 20 on the evening and 1,000 points for her stellar career.
“Jess came out on fire,” head coach Lisa Fairman said after BVA's 64-17 romp with a look of “you had to be here to believe that.”
“She was in the zone and no one was going to stop her,” Fairman said. “Her focus was amazing.”
Slagus finished with 26 points before heading to the bench early in the third quarter, and she hit another milestone as she grabbed 12 rebounds to top 750 for her career.
For the 16th time in as many games this season, Slagus finished with a double-double.
But after the game was stopped, pictures were taken, and the post-game festivities commenced, Slagus quickly pointed out the most important aspect of the game.
“Getting the win was most important thing,” she said humbly. “It's about the team first.”
Making the milestone even sweeter for Slagus, her younger sister, 6-2 sophomore Kaitlyn, was on the court with her for the milestone shot.
“That is a memory that I will always take with me because she was right there,” Slagus said, beaming with pride when talking about her sister.
The younger Slagus also recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The contest was never in question as BVA (12-4, 6-2) raced to a 22-9 lead after the first quarter behind 17 points from Slagus in the opening frame, and Waynesburg (3-14, 0-9) only mustered eight more points the rest of the night.
The fact that Slagus hit her big shot from the left wing, in front of the BVA student section, was not lost on her.
“It felt awesome to do it at home,” she said. “All of my friends and family were here and I am so proud. There was so much energy here tonight.”
Fairman said the entire team wanted Slagus, arguably the best all-around player in the program's history, to hit the milestone.
“They all came out with the mentality that Jess was going to do it,” Fairman said. “I am so happy for her, and it could not happen to a more committed player.
“She is the leader of this team on and off the court and every girl on this team respects her.”
The leadership that Slagus provides is contagious.
“I want to lead by example,” she said. “If I am not working hard then the other girls aren't working hard.”
Slagus is only the fourth girl in school history to hit 1,000 points joining Megan Backstrom, Sasha Zuro, and Jocelyn Connolly.
BVA heads to McKeesport Saturday for non-section game before hosting West Mifflin in a key section contest Monday.
Bill Hughes is a freelance writer.