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February 22, 2019

2/6/2019 1:15:00 PM
Shooting star Justine Benson reaches new heights
PICTURE THIS – La Conner coaches and players celebrated Justine Benson surpassing 1,000 career points Friday night. They gathered briefly in front of the team bench at Landy James Gym, where Benson was presented a framed certificate highlighting the rare achievement.   – Photo courtesy of Bill Reynolds
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PICTURE THIS – La Conner coaches and players celebrated Justine Benson surpassing 1,000 career points Friday night. They gathered briefly in front of the team bench at Landy James Gym, where Benson was presented a framed certificate highlighting the rare achievement.   – Photo courtesy of Bill Reynolds
Bill Reynolds


A picture is worth a thousand words.
But in the case of La Conner High hoops standout Justine Benson a thousand points is worth a photo op.
Well worth it, in fact.
The Lady Braves junior was honored with a huge ovation and presentation of a framed certificate upon reaching the career 1,000 point scoring plateau early in La Conner’s 63-8 rout of NW2B rival Concrete at Landy James Gym Friday night.
Benson finished the night with 15 points, raising her nearly three-year point total to 1,010 entering last night’s league action at Friday Harbor.
She joins La Conner alums Alethia Edwards (1,497) and Nakiya Edwards (1,016) as Lady Braves players reaching the four-digit point mark.
Benson had 995 career points when La Conner and Concrete tipped off last Friday. She opened the game with a corner jumper that appeared to be a three-pointer but was ruled a deuce.
She added a couple more buckets inside the trey arc before the opening period was half over.
Play was stopped immediately after Benson hit her third basket of the night, and the large Senior Night crowd was informed she had passed the rare milestone.
La Conner coaches and players, including Benson’s twin sister, Joanie, congratulated and posed alongside her for photos during the brief ceremony.
“It meant a lot to her,” Lady Braves head coach Scott Novak said of the public recognition. “But for Justine, it’s still a team-first thing. She was ready to get back to the game after a minute or so.”
Novak said Benson, a lefthander, is a natural scorer.
“She can get her points a lot of different ways,” he said. “She has a great shooting touch, she can hit threes and attack the basket, and she can hit the mid-range stuff.”
Benson has the ability to score against a variety of defenses, from active zones to tight pressure looks, which has helped fuel a 16-3 La Conner start this season, said Novak.
Lady Braves fans are hopeful the team can make a deep playoff run that will give Benson plenty of opportunities to further add to her point total.
Benson’s motivation, though, is more about winning games than piling up individual stats, said Novak.
“She’s a great kid from a great family,” Novak said of Benson. “I’m proud of her. She’s been a pleasure to coach.”







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