In the first round of Chesapeake-Northeast girls basketball this season on January 4, Cougars senior Haley Downin led the way with 15 points and eclipsed the 1000-point mark for her career at Chesapeake, helping her team to a 60-29 victory over the Eagles.
“It means a lot because beating our rival team really hypes up the school and gets our team hungry for more wins,” said Downin.
With offense hard to come by early, Chesapeake etched out a 10-6 lead after one quarter, finishing the period on a basket from Downin, who stole a pass and finished with a layup at the other end as time expired.
Both teams leaned on veteran leadership and playmaking to keep their teams in the game. Chesapeake upped their lead to 23-17 by halftime, with Downin leading all scorers with eight points. Northeast senior Ryleigh Nalley had seven points to lead the Eagles at half.
For Chesapeake, the difference in scoring between the first half and the second half was almost night and day. The Cougars used a 25-10 third-quarter run to open up a lead that would prove to be insurmountable. Junior Ashley Chew chipped in 5 points and a steal in the final 15 seconds of the quarter to give Chesapeake a 21-point lead.
With a fourth-quarter free throw attempt, Downin reached the 1000-point mark for her career with the Cougars. Downin and the Cougars closed the game on a 12-2 run, cementing the victory. She finished the game with a double-double of 15 points and a career-high 10 assists. Chew also recorded a double-double, grabbing 11 rebounds to go along with her 15 points. Senior Corinne Castle had 9 points and 13 rebounds, while Junior Morgan Gray recorded 9 rebounds. Senior Summer Smith notched 4 steals for the Cougars. Chesapeake moved to 8-1 with the victory.
For the Eagles, Nalley, senior Divine Carter-Benson, and junior Allyson Willis led the way with 7 points apiece. Northeast fell to 6-3.
After the game, Downin reflected on her personal achievement. “It’s an amazing achievement for me to reach because not many people reach that, so it’s cool to have a standout moment,” she said. Downin also mentioned that she was the second player to reach this milestone in the last two seasons, joining former Cougar standout Brooke Worrell. “Having two people within two years [reach 1000-points in a career] shows a lot of depth in our program.”