HHS senior hits 1,000 point milestone
It wasn't the best game of Liz Keena's career. Nor was it the best game of the season for the Hastings girls basketball team.
But, with about 90 seconds to play against Woodbury, it suddenly became quite memorable for the HHS senior and her teammates.
Keena hit a jump shot for her 11th point of the night and the 1,000th point of her high school career in Hastings. She is just the fourth player in Hastings history to record 1,000 points.
On the next possession, Keena was fouled and went to the free throw line, where she hit both attempts. Coach Mike Harp sent in a sub for Keena, who walked off the court to a big ovation from the crowd. She was hugged by her teammates, then found her mother, Kathy.
"I could see my mom walking down the stairs," Keena said. "Right away, I got emotional. I know both of us were relieved to finally have it done. We were just so in the moment. It was nice. My dad (Kurt) came and gave me a hug, too. He's never the emotional type, so that was pretty exciting."
Through the first half, Keena had just four points.
"At first, I didn't think I was nervous, but it was a little stressful going into halftime with only four points," she said. "I had some shots that should have been in. From that point on, everybody just started getting a little worried."
"Initially, we didn't think we'd have a problem getting her 11 points," Harp said. "As it turned out, it was one of those nights."
In the second half, as the game with Woodbury got out of reach, Harp called a timeout and told his players to simply feed Keena the ball.
"We did everything we could to make sure she touched the ball on every possession the last five or six minutes," Harp said.
"Whatever it took was our mentality," she said. "I was just ready to get it done. I was determined. I wanted it to happen, and so did everyone else.
"It was this huge goal that I was working toward. Finally, just to have done it, will make the rest of the season more relaxed and enjoyable."
Erin Ditty, Amber Wirth and Kathryn Reuter are the only other players who accomplished the feat in a Hastings uniform.
"It's definitely a huge honor," Keena said.
"She's just a hard worker," Harp said. "This is my ninth year as head coach, and I can honestly say she is the hardest working kid I've had.
"She's a very deserving kid."
Keena, a senior, will play college basketball at North Dakota State University this fall.
Hastings has six regular season games remaining on the schedule.