Senior reaches career milestone
By Erik Buchinger
New London senior Leah Porath scored her 1,000th career point late in the Bulldogs’ 69-30 victory over Green Bay East on Thursday, Jan. 12 in front of the home fans.
Porath needed 31 points coming into the game, she scored a career-high 32 to become the third player in New London girls’ basketball history to reach the career milestone.
“It’s a dream come true,” Porath said. “I didn’t really expect it freshman year, but by my junior season, I thought I could do this. It feels good to actually have it happen, and I’m just so excited about it.”
Porath scored 16 points in the first half, as New London took a 42-19 lead into halftime. Though the Bulldogs continued to build on the sizeable lead in the second half, head coach Troy Krause kept Porath in the game to have her big moment at home.
“That was our goal,” Krause said. “We kept her in a bit longer with the game situation, but I had talked to the other coach and said we have two games on the road coming up, and we really want to get her this at home. She said kids were talking to her all day in school about it, so I think it’s good for her just to get it done, but at home, it was special.”
Members of the student section held a sign that read “Feed the Beast” with numbers above counting down to how many points she needed to reach 1,000.
Porath was stuck with four more points to go for a few minutes, shooting the majority of the New London’s shots before scoring on consecutive possessions.
“I was trying really hard, and my team was trying to get me the ball to get that bucket and it happened,” Porath said. “It’s just overwhelming how cool it is to have that moment and to be part of that history in New London to have 1,000 points.”
When she reached 998, she passed to freshman teammate Meghan Besaw, who gave it right back in the post. Porath saw her right-handed layup go through the net, and the crowd erupted.
“It was such a relief when I made it,” Porath said. “I did it, I got my goal, and everything just came off my shoulders, and I was just excited about it.”
The game stopped, as Krause took the microphone say a few words and celebrate Porath’s accomplishment.
Porath might be the best scorer Krause has ever coached, he said.
“Some of the good players we’ve had come through this program – she’s right up there,” Krause said. “Her work ethic from her freshman year to her senior year, she’s grown so much. I think she’s having one of the best if not the best scoring year from one single player that I’ve ever had when I’ve coached, and it’s just phenomenal. I’m so happy for her.”
Porath said she was happy to make sure she scored her 1,000th point in front of her friends and family.
“I wanted it at home,” Porath said. “My grandparents are here, my brother is home from college, and it’s just super cool to be here with all my friends and have that achievement happen here in New London.”