BERNARDSVILLE, NJ - The sign the Hilltoppers were holding as they gathered around their milestone-making teammate told the story both succinctly and creatively: 10 to the Third Power... as in 1,000.
That's 1,000 as in 1,000 points, a career mark that Summit High School Varsity Girls Basketball Team captain Christina Richson reached in the second quarter of the game against Bernards.
Given her prolific ability to splash with accuracy from beyond the arc, it would have been apropos for the magic points to arrive via the three-ball but, instead, point number 1,000 (and 1,001, for that matter) came from the charity stripe with 6:27 left in the second quarter, the successful makes earned as the result of a slashing drive to the bucket that drew a foul.
No matter the mode of arrival, the accomplishment was greeted by the stoppage of the game, Richson's teammates running onto the floor and showing her the recognition and admiration she deserves and has earned, and showering her with some flowers, a balloon and hand-crafted signage -- one of which read "Summit '18, GBurg '22," referring to her senior Hilltopper status and the pending continuation of her academic and athletic endeavors at Gettysburg College beginning this fall.
On this day, Richson would score a game-high 22 points -- giving her now 1,010 for her career -- but it would have take three more points -- perhaps one more of Richson's patented treys -- for the Maroon and White to get the win.
That's because Bernards' Jenna Whelan had 18 points and siblings Bridget (10) and Abby Cawley (10) combined for 20 more and the Mountaineers beat Summit 50-48 in the second annual Kyle Kirst Classic. In the early game, Ridge defeated Hanover Park 46-37.
Freshman Annabella Yorio was second top scorer for the Hilltoippers with seven, while grabbing six rebounds as well.
Summit led 24-22 and 36-35 at the half and after three quarters, respectively, but found itself down five -- at 50-45 -- in the waning seconds before Richson knocked down a three-pointer to narrow Bernards' lead to just a bucket. The Mountaineers committed a traveling violation on the ensuing inbounds play, but all that allowed was an under duress heave from Richson at the horn that didn't make it to the rim.
Cawley each added 10 points for Bernards. Annie Thomas chipped in eight points.
Next up for Summit, now 6-6 on the season, is a trip to Union for a tilt against the Farmers January 23. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.