It was a shot Carroll County’s Keely Lundy has made a million times, but this one felt different.
Taking a pass on the right wing, the Cavalier senior dribbled twice while backing up, creating space between herself and the Galax defender on Friday night. Then as she has done so many times in practice and games, she let fly from long range. The result? Ball meeting nothing but net and the sweet sound of a swish.
But this 3-pointer was special. It was different because this trifecta placed Lundy among an elite group, making her just the sixth girl in Carroll County basketball history to score 1,000 career points. And just as quickly as the ball splashed through the net and hit the floor, Lundy’s emotions got the best of her. Tears overcame the Cavalier standout as she rushed to midcourt to hug her coach, Marc Motley, and then her mom, brother and dad.
“It was a feeling I don’t even know how to describe. I knew I would get it on my first shot against Galax, but I was a little nervous and I didn’t know how I would react,” said Lundy, who entered Friday’s game with 999 career points. “I definitely didn’t think I would be crying but I did. It was an amazing feeling. When I committed to Concord I started balling, too. It is just an amazing feeling when you work so hard for something and you actually get it. I guess I was just thinking hard work pays off.”
Even though she needed just one point entering the game to reach the milestone, Lundy didn’t get it until less than 90 seconds remained in the first half of the Cavaliers’ 66-35 win at Galax. Motley said Lundy was understandably nervous and pressing just a bit. But once she passed the milestone, she settled down and went on to score a game-high 13 points.
“I think that has been an issue with her in the past, pressing a little at times. This year she has played as relaxed as I have ever seen her play. But she pressed a little last night because she knew she was only a point away. We started the game with a play set up for her and Mattie (Kennedy) said, ‘Let’s go ahead and get it over with,’” Motley said. “She knew she was only a basket away. That was pretty tough on her and she missed her first couple of shots pressing, but shot two or three in a row off of offensive rebounds and the rhythm took over and she didn’t think about it. She got hot in the second half. She was relaxed and comfortable and that is how she needs to play. Every time she missed the whole crowd was like ‘ohhh.’ It got more intense because I think she felt like she was letting the crowd down.”
With the milestone 3-pointer, Lundy joins Erin Gibson, Ingrid Easter, Kayla Goins, Lindsay Martin and Mattie Kennedy in Carroll County’s exclusive 1,000-point club. Ironically, while those first four players represent the first 47 years of Carroll County High School, the last two came four days apart. Kennedy, a current teammate of Lundy’s and a fellow senior, reached the milestone Dec. 13 in a home game against Cave Spring.
“Keely is right that hard work pays off. I can’t imagine anybody in our program that has more baskets, not just in games, but outside of practice, working on their own, than those two kids,” Motley said. “Keely is just a real smart, smart player and she could probably have more points but she is just so unselfish. She is a team player and she leads by example. She’s not real vocal when she plays. She’s kind of quiet, but every day she brings it, whether it is practice or a game. She always brings it and she has probably led us in assists the past couple of years, which says something about her also. Both kids started for me as freshmen and they have really taken over the program for four years really.”
With the win, Carroll County improved to 5-1 overall. Galax fell to 2-2 with the loss. Lundy nearly reached the milestone a night earlier when she scored 20 points in a win at Floyd County. But perhaps it was fate that the 1,000th point would come against Galax. After all, it came against the same team her brother, Connor Lundy, the school’s second leading scorer in boys’ history, scored his 1,000th career point. And like Connor, Keely’s 1,000th also came in the second game of the season with the Maroon Tide.
“It definitely did (make it a little more special). At Floyd, everybody was like you are only 21 (points) away and I scored 20. I thought maybe it was just meant to be that me and my brother would do it against Galax, but that was a cool feeling, too,” Lundy said. “I am thrilled to be a part of Carroll County history of being the sixth player to get 1,000 points and I am looking forward to the rest of our senior year.”
Carroll 12 20 24 10 – 66
Galax 6 10 8 11 – 35
Carroll County – Lundy 13, Kennedy 10, Dalton 8, Carter 7, A. Kennedy 7, Holt 6, Robinson 5, Gallimore 5, Garland 3, Caviness 2. 3-pointers – Lundy 3, M. Kennedy 2, Gallimore 1.
Galax – Foxx 11, Brown 8, Brady 7, Cassell 3, Huffman 2, Bryant 2, Hill 2. 3-pointers – Brady 1.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN