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Admired all over

Alexis Smith’s record-setting performance Friday at Northern, which put her atop the all-time scoring list for boys or girls with 1,829 points, has garnered her a lot of respect from coaches, teammates and opponents.

“I’m very proud of my teammate. She’s a true leader, she pushes you when she’s tired. My freshman year I struggled and she’s the one who pushed me and ran with me and gave me advice. Believe me I wouldn’t trade her for the world.”

Daijah Thomas, Calvert junior

“She’s a great player. She gives it her all for sure and when you think she’s going to do something she does something else and I’m just really, really proud of her for all her accomplishments.”

Mauri Miller, Northern senior who has played with Smith on youth and AAU games

“It’s rare, it’s pretty amazing that with the girls you can get somebody to start for four years and if they do they don’t play at the level she has. And to score over 1,800 points that’s quite an accomplishment. She’s worked hard for it. She’s what you’d call a gym rat because she’s always working on her shot and always working on her ball-handling but she couldn’t have done that without a supporting cast, either”

Brad Criss, Calvert athletic director

“I’m awful proud because that girl worked awful hard to get where she is right now. She deserves everything she gets. You look at her out there tonight and it’s a great accomplishment, but the thing I’m awful proud of is looking at her on the defensive end. She doesn’t just play offense, she plays defense and that’s what I’m proud of for her. The points, God bless her, but you look at how she plays defense.”

Frank Moore, Northern head boys basketball coach who coached Smith her freshman through junior seasons as Calvert’s head girls basketball coach

MICHAEL REID

A defensive stand, a run up the court and the graceful arc of a three-pointer swishing the twine was all it took for Calvert senior Alexis Smith to break the all-time county scoring record for boys or girls Friday night at Northern High School.

Smith finished the game — which Calvert won 73-39 over the rival Patriots — with a game-high 22 points and now has 1,829 for her stellar career.

Calvert 73, Northern 39

Northern 7 8 7 17

Calvert 22 23 15 13

Northern: Bailey 10, Holland 7, Miller 7, Cooke 6, Cross 5, Delamer 4

Calvert: Smith 22, Weems 17, Thomas 10, Butler 10, Gross 9, Graves 3, Gray 2

Free throws: Northern 9-11 (Bailey 3-3); Calvert 6-12 (Weems 4-4)

3-point goals: Northern 4 (Cooke 2, Bailey, Cross); Calvert 7 (Smith 3, Butler 2, Weems, Graves)

“It’s a great accomplishment,” Smith said as a steady stream of supporters stopped by to offer congratulations. “All my hard work has paid off.”

Smith came into the game needing six points to tie and seven points to break Northern standout Jen Mitchell’s record of 1,813.

Mitchell, who graduated in 1999, never missed a game or practice, and helped Northern to an overall record of 88-11 (55-1 SMAC) and three regional championships. The Patriots retired her No. 23 jersey in a ceremony on Dec. 18, 2000.

“I was like, ‘Wow,’” Calvert first year head coach Tim Contee said of watching Smith’s monumental three, which came 50 seconds into the second quarter. “It was almost surreal. I was almost speechless.”

Smith missed her first four field goals of the game but settled into a groove and finished the first quarter with five points.

“I was a little bit anxious, I guess,” she said.

Smith was enveloped by her teammates as her accomplishment was announced over the public address system and she was presented the game ball.

“It felt good when it came off my hand,” she said of the shot. “I kind of was [stunned at the reaction]. Everybody was there supporting me, and I knew they had my back whether I broke it or not.”

Just before play resumed, Smith rushed to the corner of the gymnasium to embrace Frank Moore, who was her coach her freshman through junior seasons and is now the Northern head boys basketball coach, and Sherisse Russell, who was an assistant at Calvert and is now an assistant to Moore at Northern.

“That’s like a milestone where you’re almost speechless, but I’m so proud of her because she works so hard,” Contee said. “It seemed like [getting the record] gave her more confidence because it was almost like a monkey off her back. Man, what a milestone; it’s just so amazing.”

Smith said the record-breaking pursuit had taken somewhat of a toll on her.

“It has [weighed on me] and I tried not to think about it, but it was hard not to,” she said. “It was kind of irritating. I just had to slow it down and take my time.

Smith, who has been the All-Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Most Outstanding Player and All-County Athlete of the Year the past two seasons, is headed to Drexel University on a basketball scholarship,

“I’ve just put in a lot of hard work and overtime, a lot of overtime,” she said. “People have been telling me since I was little that I was good, and I guess they were right.”

The Cavaliers (17-2, 10-1 SMAC) led Northern 22-7 after the first quarter and took a 45-15 advantage into halftime.

“I feel we came out with a bang; we came out strong and intense at first,” said Calvert’s Daijah Thomas, who finished with 10 points. “I feel like we played as a team and moved the ball well; no one was selfish.”

Jasmine Weems scored 17 points, and Endia Butler added 10. Jamesha Gray scored two.

Northern (14-7, 8-4 SMAC) was led by Mykaela Bailey’s 10 points, and Mauri Miller and Kiana Holland each scored seven.

“It’s just sad because this is maybe the senior’s last possible game playing here, and we wanted it so bad,” said an emotional Miller, who was unaware at the time that the Patriots will host La Plata in a Class 3A South Region quarterfinal game Monday. “There’s only so much you can do when people start giving up, but we definitely started the second quarter started picking it back up.”

The Patriots saw their five-game win streak come to a close.

“Tonight’s a little bit of a setback, but we need to get past that and get back to working and get back to the things that we’ve done in the past to play good team basketball,” Northern head coach Brad Kingsbury said, “like good defense and everybody contributing.”

Calvert, which picked up the top seed in the 2A South Region, hosted Great Mills on Tuesday night to make up a Jan. 25 postponement, which ended too late for inclusion into this edition, and will play at Friendship Collegiate Academy in Washington, D.C. at 6 tonight.

mreid@somdnews.com