Three players — Missy Bailey of Cheshire, Chloe Brinton of Amity and Jess Bogdowicz of Bunnell — recently joined the 1,000-point club. All three players have played major roles in their teams’ success over the years. And all three have made it to 1,000 in their own unique way.
Don’t Mess With Missy
Missy Bailey scored her 1,000th career point in similar fashion to how the scrappy senior point guard has played most her career.
She reached the milestone on a drive and layup in Friday’s 51-47 victory over Sheehan.
“She throws that little shoulder sometimes, but its just her way to tell everybody ‘you know what? I’m going to go hard every possession,’” Cheshire coach Sarah Mik said.
Bailey said she learned that from her parents Kevin and Lisa and her older brother Matt. Both her parents starred at Hamden High and Southern New Hampshire University, and Matt played at Cheshire and is a sophomore at Assumption. She said games at home prepared her for games in high school.
“They never let me be a wimp,” Bailey said. “I really never had a choice.”
And in the tough SCC, Bailey needed to be tough.
“You have to have a little edge,” Mik said. “You can bow down and say, ‘oh woe is me’, or you can rise above it.”
Bailey has done that and more. She is the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made, averages 13.4 points per game and was recently voted the best point guard in the SCC by the fans.
However, she said her teammates reaction after she scored her 1,000th point was the best.
“When my team showed how happy they were for me it made it even better,” she said.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Brinton, a senior guard for the Spartans, has a simple philosophy that has helped her improve season after season.
“As long as I’m playing basketball I’m going to be happy,” she said. “As long as I keep getting better, I’ll just get happier, I guess.”
Brinton isn’t the only one who’s happy. Her coach Michelle Martinik said Brinton has worked hard for everything she’s earned.
“That work ethic, the thought of what I’m I going to add to game now, it’s made her a triple threat,” the coach said.
And it was a triple that got Brinton, who now has 1,004 career points, to 1,000. She a drained a 3-pointer in the third quarter of a 59-52 loss to Lyman Hall. The game stopped, the crowd rose and held up neon green cards with “1,000” in bold black type.
“I was right next to the crowd, it was crazy, but it was so awesome,” Brinton said.
Brinton, who averages 12.8 points per game, has been starting for the Spartans since her freshman season.
“About halfway through I said, she’s not a freshman anymore,” Martinik said about Brinton’s freshman year. “She’s played so many minutes she’s actually a sophomore.”
Martinik said Brinton has always been a hard worker and still exhibits that effort today.
“When we run sprints she’s always sprinting trying to be the first one,” the coach said. “She never lets up and every drill she goes hard. She knows that’s what makes her better and makes her last in games.”
Brinton keeps working in the summer, too. Her older sister Courtney helps her on the court and even coached her travel team up until last year.
And when she’s not working on her offense, Brinton is listening to Martinik to improve on the other end of the floor.
“She’s helped me a lot with my defense,” Brinton said. “When I came here as a freshman I wasn’t as confident in my offense as I was with my defense.”
Now she’s confident with both, her team is 18-2 and most importantly, she’s pretty happy.
Live Well, Play Better
Bunnell senior Bogdowicz eclipsed the 1,000-point mark by hitting a 3-pointer on Monday against Weston. It served as a reward for the hard-working guard, according to her former coach Marvin Tyson.
“Seeing her smile and be happy, it’s a great accomplishment,” he said. “I’ve known her for four years, and she deserves it. She’s worked very hard.”
Just how hard has the senior worked? According to Tyson, two hours of practice usually isn’t enough for Bogdowicz.
“We’ll practice and then she’ll go to the gym and run on the treadmill for an hour,” he said.
To Bogdowicz, that’s what it takes to be an elite athlete.
“I try to go to the gym often,” she said. “I lift weights and do cardio.”
She doesn’t play around when it comes to her diet, either. She said she eats proteins after her workouts to help build muscle. She also said she refrains from eating sweets, at least most of the time.
“She’s like, counting the days when she can have something sweet,” her coach said. “She’ll say, yes it’s Saturday, I can have a cupcake.”
She said her favorite sweet treat is actually ice cream. However, her work ethic and focus on fitness and nutrition came from her coach.
“Coach Tyson is encouraging me to do that stuff, too,” she said.
She said he keeps the team improving and in shape. Bogdowicz usually plays the entire game, unless she’s in foul trouble, and said she’s enjoyed every minute of it.
“I’ve had a great four years,” she said. “Coach Tyson is involved in a lot, just getting us ready for the games and making us better.”
And her coach said she’s making the school and her parents proud.
“(Her parents are) good responsible people. She saw that and just ran with it,” he said. “And she took it to the next level.”
And hopefully they’ll take her to Dairy Queen for some celebratory ice cream.
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