by Mike Slodki
NAPERVILLEâ€”The journey to the top is over.
Kaneland High School 2006 graduate Lyndsie Long of Sugar Grove made Elmhurst College womenâ€™s basketball history on Tuesday night at Merner Fieldhouse in Naperville, scoring a team-high 18 points in a 79-67 win at North Central College and becoming the schoolâ€™s all-time leading scorer.
â€œI always had a goal to be the all-time leading scorer at Kaneland, too, and it didnâ€™t happen,â€ Long said. â€œThis started freshman year, and I kept it in the back of my head, and now I finally did it.â€
Several well-wishers of Lyndsie Long had a finished product to their countdown in the Merner Fieldhouse bleachers at NCC on Tuesday. Photo by Mike Slodki
A senior, Long was 11 points away coming into the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) contest.
Long has amassed 1,788 points, eclipsing Karen Kinsellaâ€™s mark of 1,780.
The record-breaking basket came two minutes into the second half on an offensive putback, only after a couple of missed foul shots and field goal attempts that left her tied with the record going into the halftime break.
â€œI was like, â€˜this canâ€™t be happeningâ€™,â€ Long said. â€œI was trying not to be nervous, and of course youâ€™re going to be because you know itâ€™s right there in your hands. I was stuck on 10 for awhile, and I wanted to get it so I didnâ€™t have to worry about it.â€
Elmhurst, with the win, improved to 16-8 (9-4 CCIW) and secured a berth in the postseason tournament.
Long, now averaging 24.1 points per game, drove through more noteworthy roadblocks on her way to college basketball history in the games leading up to Tuesday.
In a 75-68 win over North Park University on Saturday, Long scored 30 points and hit four three-pointers to become Elmhurstâ€™s all-time leader in trifectas with 160.
Lyndsie Longâ€™s offensive putback early in the second half on Tuesday at North Central College leads to a place at the top of the Elmhurst College record books. Courtesy of Steve Woltmann
On Feb. 10 in an 85-84 heartbreaker loss to visiting Carthage College, Long set a single-game scoring mark for the Elmhurst Bluejays with 45 points, breaking a record that stood for 24 years, and set a CCIW record that stood since 1994.
Long, who provided a major component of Kaneland girls basketball squads along with Jessica Lund, Kelsey Flanagan, Sarah Coppert and Kaiti Roy, sits at second place in the Lady Knightsâ€™ scoring list behind current Waubonsee womenâ€™s basketball coach and Aurora University standout Dana Wagner.
Elmhurst ends its regular season hosting Wheaton College on Saturday, Feb. 20.