Leighah-Amori Wool became the first female basketball player in school history to pass the 1,000-point mark Tuesday night in Skokie.

But the Evanston senior knows she’d better extend her career scoring lead as far out of reach as possible, because she might be playing alongside the next ETHS player to achieve that milestone.

Wool scored 14 points and freshman guard Kayla Henning erupted for a career-high 21 as the Wildkit girls crushed Niles North 84-34 for their 9th straight victory to open the season. The Kits improved to 2-0 in Central Suburban League South division play after a combination of full-court and half-court pressure defense harassed the Vikings into committing a whopping 42 turnovers on the night.

Evanston led 54-14 at halftime and 76-22 after three periods as 11 of the 13 players who saw action scored for the winners.

Wool entered the contest just two points shy of the 1,000 mark and converted her first two 3-point field goal attempts, one from the left wing and one from the right wing. She shot 6-of-11 from the floor despite playing less than half of the game.

“It’s really hard to score 1,000 points in a career,” said ETHS head coach Brittanny Johnson, who did it as a player at Fenwick High School. “It’s really something for Leighah to be proud of, but she’s so humble and so modest that I don’t  think she realizes just how great it is.”

“I would like to put that record out of reach and hopefully keep that No. 1 spot for a long time,” Wool admitted after entering the season tied at 909 points with former ETHS standout Danielle McKinley. “It is significant to me, not just a number. I didn’t know I could do it until the beginning of this year and I’m excited about it. I just wish I could have done it at a home game.”

Henning has shown that she could be Wool’s heir apparent one day, although the freshman point guard so far has displayed the type of pass-first mentality that will more than likely benefit her future teammates more than her own point total.

Most of Henning’s points Tuesday came off of Viking mistakes, but she did connect on 3-of-4 shots from 3-point range and seems comfortable working with both the starters and the No. 2 unit coming off the bench.

“I think Kayla’s been a perfect addition for this team,” Johnson said. “She’s not starting because Tamia Banks is a better matchup for us defensively. Tamia is like our defensive captain out there — she calls out the defenses even before I do from the bench — and she gives us a lot of energy and effort on defense. She does a lot of the little things, like getting on the floor for loose balls, and she’s very, very smart on defense. The seniors all listen to her, and I think that says a lot.

“But I also think we’re lucky that Kayla doesn’t live 2 blocks away or something (in another school district). Kayla seems comfortable coming off the bench  and tonight I thought it was the second unit that really broke the game open for us in the second quarter. I thought they did a good job of staying focused.”

Wool said she wouldn’t be surprised if some day Henning is receiving accolades for reaching 1,000 points herself.

“Kayla is really mature for her age — it’s crazy!” Wool exclaimed. “I think it’s a good thing that she has the seniors to look up to this year, because that will help her understand the leadership role she’ll have to take on at a young age.

“Sometimes, I forget that she’s a freshman. She knows how to handle the ball and control the tempo, and she definitely could score 1,000 points. She’ll be a high Division I (college) prospect someday. She’s just stone cold good.”

Krystal Forrester (9 points) and Nadia Thorman-McKey (9 points, 5 rebounds) were the leading supporting players Tuesday night along with SyAnn Holmes (8 points) and Leah Robinson (7 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks) for ETHS.

Dennis Mahoney is sports information director for ETHS.

Dennis Mahoney

Dennis Mahoney is sports information director for Evanston Township High School.

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