Thursday January 17, 2013 | By:Michael J. Petro | Sports
In her senior season, four-year varsity player Taylor Heinold, who here gets high into the air for a shot as her father looks on in the background, became a 1,000-point scorer like him. (Photo courtesy of Ron Larson)Immaculata senior gets feat done in final seconds of home game
It’s been a lengthy and successful four-year varsity basketball career at Immaculata Academy for Taylor Heinold, but the race to her 1,000th point was extremely hectic.
In need of 30 points to reach the feat inside the Bears’ gym in front of a home crowd, which included her father, Chris, a past 1,000-point scorer himself, Heinold netted 31 with the mark being set on a jumper just 12 seconds away from the final buzzer.
Heinold enjoyed a huge game, which has became the norm for the hard-working and talented guard over the past few seasons, but it was difficult getting those last few points to break the mark over the final several minutes of the game.
However, after missing a foul shot that would have marked her 1,000th point, she got the ball back on the perimeter and sank a 14-foot jumper on what seemingly promised to be her last opportunity of the game.
“The last three minutes were the worst because I knew I was only a few points away, so I was thinking, ‘Oh my God,’ and then I missed that last foul shot and was thinking, ‘oh no,’” Heinold said.
“As soon as the ball went out of my hands, I didn’t really think too much about it,” she added. “I just thought about getting the next shot up. Then it went in and everybody started screaming and ran over to me.”
It was a sight to behold as Heinold’s teammates gathered around her to celebrate and a proud coach, Andrea Drabik, who has had Taylor for four seasons, soaked in the moment. The game was stopped for about a minute for some photos and so that Immaculata could huddle and regroup.
“I said to Taylor, ‘congratulations, this is a great milestone to hit in your career, especially heading into college, but it’s not possible without your teammates,’ and she is completely humble to them,” Drabik said. “She’s got a great work ethic. I couldn’t be more proud of her. To see her develop and mature, it’s a really a nice honor to be part of a team like this and work with girls like that.”
Also a proud spectator that night was Taylor’s father, who once stood on the court at that level celebrating a similar feat for North Collins before he moved on to play competitively at Division I Canisius.
“To see how hard she worked to achieve this accomplishment, we just sit back and watch so proudly,” said Chris, who enjoyed the game and moment with his wife, Andrea Heinold. “Having done it, you understand it’s a milestone that not every player can attain. I know how hard you have to work for the achievement.”
It’s rare enough to see one family member reach the feat, let alone a father and daughter. The Heinolds, who reside in Hamburg, now have two 1,000-point scorers in one household. And Taylor’s younger sister, Jordan, a freshman, is already off to a notable start to her career at Immaculata.
“Family bonding is done in many ways — the one we enjoy is getting outside to work on some part of their game or just casually shooting around,” Chris said.
Taylor Heinold stands with her mother, Andrea, and father, Chris, after reaching the 1,000-point mark in her hoops career.
Right away after the game, Taylor reflected on how special of a feat it was because her father also accomplished the same during his high school career. Chris was actually the first to do it for North Collins.
“It was really awesome,” she said. “My dad scored 1,000 points, too, so it’s cool to share that with him.”
A special bond and closeness between father and daughter has been formed thanks in part to the sport.
“That’s a tight group as a family,” Drabik said. “Her dad played the sport and has been involved with his daughters in the sport. Everything from the Gus Macker — where he’d be playing on the main court while they were playing on another court, to taking them to clinics and tournaments.”
A love for the sport was something that was started early on. Taylor began in basketball at the age of 8 playing for the Hamburg Little Cagers and not surprisingly, like her father was a natural at the sport.
But it took traveling up and down the state and east coast regularly during summers as part of the AAU team, the Gym Rats, and playing in tournaments such the Run for the Roses in Kentucky, Boo Williams in Virginia and at nationals in Washington to reach this elite level.
Taylor is also no stranger to walking right outside her house to the family’s court and shooting 300 to 400 free throws on any given day.
“A lot of the times, I go out with the girls and I’m the rebounder for them and other times, they’ll ask, ‘can you help me with this or that,’” said Chris, who has also coached both of his daughters at the youth and middle school level. “Taylor’s also done a lot of traveling and we’ll continue to do that with Jordan. It shows a commitment to play and get the exposure.”
Taylor showed the same type of commitment to scoring that 1,000th point and so did her teammates. After missing the back end of two free throws and looking as though she would fall short, it was fellow senior Bailey Gailey who grabbed a rebound off the miss and astutely knew what to do with it, finding Heinold for the opportunity to shoot one last time.
Heinold expressed appreciation for Gawley’s “great rebound and assist” on that basket, along with the contributions of everyone around her. Because of the trust she had in her teammates and the way she played against Holland last season, she never looked at scoring 30-plus points as a tall task.
“We played them last year and I had about 30 so I came into the game thinking I could do it,” Heinold said. “I just kind of played my game and my team was looking for me to score. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
In the first half, Heinold recorded 14 points, and in an effort to slow her down, Holland went to a double team in the third quarter. Heinold added eight in the third quarter and then nine in the fourth. She also pulled down 11 rebounds, to go along with six assists, three steals, two blocked shots and a pair of three-pointers.
“She kind of looked over once or twice and I told her, ‘don’t worry, just play hard,’” Drabik said. “It came down to the last few minutes and I told her, ‘you have a few buckets left, if it happens, it happens.’”
Not lost in the accomplishment was that the Bears earned a fifth straight victory that night improving to 7-3 going into the Pioneer Tournament, which they wound up winning to extend their win streak by two.
Heinold went on to score 37 more points in the two games at Pioneer and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. She netted 15 points in the Bears’ 46-39 win over Mt. Mercy in the title game on Jan. 12.
Jordan Heinold was named to the all-tournament team after combining with her sister for 40 points in an opening game 61-47 win over the hosts the night before and then notching 14 in the title game. The sisters also combined to go 16 of 16 from the free throw line. Jordan also grabbed 22 rebounds in the opener.
Also against Mt. Mercy, junior RayAnn Call went 6 for 7 at the line as the team shot a stellar 23 of 25 from the charity stripe. Call also scored 10 in the opener, while senior Kathryn Halloran added eight.
Taylor is hoping she’s not the final Heinold to reach the 1,000-point mark, as she’ll be rooting on her sister who as the stats would indicate is already well on her way with a stellar freshman season.
“I’m hoping Jordan will get that too and we’ll all have it all in the family,” Taylor said.