Scoring 1,000 points in a prep career is an important milestone for most high school basketball players as well as being relatively rare. However, this year seems to be the exception as Ellsworth girls’ basketball senior Kaitlyn Nugent and Spring Valley boys’ basketball senior Aaron Borgerding became the third and fourth Pierce County players to reach 1,000 points.

Nugent went into the Panthers’ Jan. 30 contest at St. Croix Falls 18 points away from 1,000 and ended up hitting that number right on the head.

“Yeah I knew how close I was to 1,000. (Head coach Jason) Janke only told me about when I was about 30 points away,” Nugent said. “So I was pretty aware of when I might get it. I didn’t know for sure what exact game it was going to be though. I needed like 18 points in St. Croix Falls to get it and I knew I was close so when I made the shot to get to 1,000, I knew I got it.”

Borgerding achieved the milestone in a home win for Spring Valley over the Durand Panthers during which he scored 23 points, including 11 of 14 from the free-throw line.

“I knew that I was close before the game because I had people telling me, and the game before (that) I knew I was somewhat close,” he said. “I knew when I hit it because the crowd went crazy and that was really cool to see them so excited for me.”

Ellsworth Panthers' senior guard Kaitlyn Nugent passes the ball during a recent loss to Osceola. Nugent said that she hopes her hitting 1,000 points helps motivate other girls to work hard to achieve their goals too. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia
Ellsworth Panthers' senior guard Kaitlyn Nugent passes the ball during a recent loss to Osceola. Nugent said that she hopes her hitting 1,000 points helps motivate other girls to work hard to achieve their goals too. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia

While both reacted differently in the moment, by the end of the experience they each echoed the same sentiment.

“Right away I was so happy that I was able to accomplish something as special as scoring 1,000 points. Seeing all the signs go up in the crowd and having my teammates supporting me made the moment something I’ll never forget,” Nugent said. “I was also relieved that I didn’t have to worry about getting it anymore. Not that anyone was putting pressure on me, but I was just nervous and excited to get it, so it’s a relief that I don’t have to have that in the back of my mind anymore.”

“It wasn’t really until the next day that it really sunk in that I reached that milestone,” Borgerding said. “I was pretty excited that I reached it and kind of a relief that it was taken care of.”

Both said that hitting 1,000 points was a goal of theirs and knew there was a decent possibility of reaching it when they started the season, but emphasized they didn’t want to push for it or try and force it to happen. Borgerding said he had wanted to do it since seeing his older brother, Sean Borgerding, do it during Aaron’s freshman year. The milestone also has meaning for both Nugent and Borgerding that goes beyond the court.

“Being able to reach this milestone just motivates me to want to keep working harder and I hope it motivates other female athletes to work harder too,” Nugent said. “Accomplishing a goal I’ve had since freshman year is super rewarding knowing how hard I’ve worked.”

Spring Valley Cardinals senior point guard Aaron Borgerding goes up for a layup against Mondovi. Borgerding said he had wanted to reach 1,000 points since seeing his older brother, Sean Borgerding, do it during Aaron's freshman year. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia
Spring Valley Cardinals senior point guard Aaron Borgerding goes up for a layup against Mondovi. Borgerding said he had wanted to reach 1,000 points since seeing his older brother, Sean Borgerding, do it during Aaron's freshman year. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia

“I mean it’s a great accomplishment, but it means more to me than just the record. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded with amazing teammates that support me and helped me to put the ball in the hoop,” Borgerding added. “I want to thank my coaches, Mr. Bosshart, Mr. Ducklow and Mr. Gregg for pushing me to get the best out of me on and off the court. Lastly, my family, for continuous support since I was in little dribblers. This record is a representation of how great these people are and how they have impacted me throughout my years in basketball.”

The Spring Valley boys’ basketball team currently sits at 13-4 overall and 7-3 in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference heading into Thursday night’s game against the Elmwood/Plum City Wolves. They travel to Boyceville on Tuesday.

The Ellsworth girls are 7-11 overall and 5-7 in the Middle Border Conference. They traveled to Turtle Lake Thursday, go to MBC-leading Prescott on Friday and host the River Falls Wildcats on Tuesday.