Byne Christian girls basketball coach Tonya Horne, left, smiles as she hands her star player — who also happens to be her younger sister — Heather Horne a commemorative basketball with the number “1,000” written on it. Heather received the ball after reaching the 1,000-point mark over the weekend, becoming the first girls player in the school’s history to do so.
ALBANY — Heather Horne knew she came into this past Friday’s game with 997 points scored in her bright, three-year career at Byne Christian.
And after she became the second Saints basketball player in school history to reach 1,000 early in the contest against Open Bible, Byne’s opponent — and apparently the officials — didn’t let her forget it.
“As soon as she hit the shot that put her over, I took a timeout so we could recognize her and give her a ball with the word ‘1,000’ written on it — and I don’t think the other team or the refs appreciated it,” Byne coach Tonya Horne — Heather’s older sister — said Wednesday. “Because they really beat us up after that — and the refs seemed to be really hard on her, too. I mean, she had four fouls by the end of the first quarter — and she’s a shooter.”
Byne (3-11) lost that game badly, but it didn’t detract from the milestone achieved by Heather, who became the first girls player in program history to reach the mark.
And she’s only a junior.
“It’s been neat having the whole school following it and cheering me on all year,” said Heather, who entered the 2012-13 season more than 100 points away. “But I just play and try not to worry about stats. One thousand points is great, but it’s just a number, and I wouldn’t have been able to get there without my teammates.”
Although, now she has her sights set on breaking a record set by a former Byne star.
“The school record for career points is 1,300-something, which was set by Andy Bass a few years ago,” said Heather of Bass, who became the first Byne player to pass 1,000 points in 2008, followed by Casey Sanders two years ago. “I want to break that now.”
Horne, the Lady Saints’ leading scorer, dropped in 27 points — one off her career-high — in Tuesday’s win against Grace.
Tonya, a former star at Terrell Academy, said it’s been fun both coaching her sister and watching her blossom before her eyes.
“She used to come root me on and watch me when I played, so it’s pretty cool the relationship we have now where I get to do the same — and coach her,” said Tonya, who’s in her third season. “I have high expectations of her, and so far she’s exceeded every one.”