Georgia Rather became the second Principia Panther to top 1,000 points this season.
Rather, a 5-foot-10 senior guard, reached the milestone in recent road game against Visitation Academy.Her big basket was one she normally shoots.
Rather drove to the basket and finished with a left-handed layup in the fourth quarter.
“I took a time out as soon as she scored her 1,000th point,” Principia coach Kara Johnson said. “It was a crazy environment in the Visitation gym, but we had a lot of fans there to support Georgia scoring her 1,000th point. For a well rounded basketball player, this accomplishment is satisfying but the effort continues beyond this achievement.”
It was a special moment for Rather.
“The last shot was a contested layup on the right side, which is how I usually score anyway so it seems fitting,” Rather said. “I immediately hugged my fellow teammate Tessa Boyman, and a timeout was called and they announced that I had gotten my 1,000th career point.
“Because it was an away game I wasn’t officially honored until the next home game where I received my 1,000 points ball and took pictures with the team.”
Earlier this season, junior Jordan Fredrickson hit the 1,000-point plateau.
“I am proud of both girls for their commitment to the basketball program the past three and four years,” Johnson said. “The entire school community is excited to have two girls achieve this milestone in the same year.”
Rather has played with several of the recent Panthers who also reached the total.
“I’ve played with four other girls who have gotten it — Kate Hinds, Caitlyn Demaree, Cameron Bania, and Jordan Fredrickson,” Rather said. “At one point all five of us were playing together which was so fun because they’re all very good basketball players and I learned a lot from all of them the past four years. “
Along with playing with four other girls, I’ve been coached this year by Kara Johnson, and Sarah Banning, who was the assistant coach my freshman and sophomore years.”
Both Johnson and Banning have hit the 1,000-point marker for the Panthers in their playing days.
It wasn’t something Rather said she set out to do.
“I never really set it as a goal for myself,” Rather said. “After my sophomore season, I realized it was actually something that I would be able to achieve, so I started to pay more attention to how close I was getting. It is definitely something that is very special to me now, but I think what made it the most special to me was that my dad and mom were both in the crowd which doesn’t normally happen since I actually live in Madison Wisconsin and live in a dorm at Principia.”
Rather began playing basketball in the fourth grade.
“One of my sisters played and I loved the fast pace of the game,” Rather said. “My favorite part about basketball is defense because you’re constantly thinking on your feet and I think getting a steal and a fast break is the best feeling.”
Johnson likes what Rather brings to the Panthers.
“Georgia is a spark on our team,” Johnson said. “Offensively, she likes to get to the rim, but also looks for a kick-out three pointer every once in a while. Defensively, she is feisty and active, using her long arms to her advantage to snag steals.
“She has played with skill and enthusiasm this season. She does what is asked of her and exceeds our expectations.”
During her freshman year, she started the season by coming off the bench. However, her hard work and talent won her a job.
“I eventually worked up to the point of being one of the starting five,” Rather said. “That season was a lot of learning for me. I had to learn a whole new school, with all new people, 400 miles south of where I had always thought I would go to school. But I quickly learned the ropes and had a great year filled with growth.”
Her next two seasons were both good.
“My sophomore season showed a lot of improvement because I put in a lot of time in the off season,” Rather said. “It was the year that the five most recent girls to get 1,000 points all played on the same team at the same time. We made it to the district finals, but didn’t have the outcome we wanted, but it definitely motivated the team for junior season.
“My junior year was full of growth on and off the court. One of my favorite parts from last season was getting to play in the 48-hour tournament that was broadcasted on ESPN3. Last season I also had to step up and be more of a vocal leader since I was an upperclassman.”
Rather wanted to have a good senior season. So she worked even more on her game.
“I spent time in the gym this fall, before the season started working on my shot, and every Sunday I scrimmaged with a club and fellow teammates Jordan Fredrickson and Tessa Boyman,” Rather said. “I’m a quick, scrappy player and I love playing defense, especially getting steals on defense, but that combination also often gets me in foul trouble. “
On offense I like to find the open players on my team and try to move the ball quickly around the perimeter so I can drive, rather than shooting from the outside. I think also playing soccer, allows for me to see things develop on the court because they’re similar sports in how the off ball movements work.”
Basketball season is over for Principia. The Panthers lost in the Class 3 District 5 championship game to Whitfield to have their season come to a close. Principia wound up 15-12.
Now, Rather will turn her attention to another sport. She will play soccer this spring for the Panthers.
Rather plays forward, center back, or left wing depending on the game.
This will be her fourth year playing soccer at Principia. The girls team finished second last season in Class 1, losing 2-0 to St. Vincent.
“All my life I had been a forward, but last season I found out that I actually really enjoy playing defense,” Rather said. “It allows for me to use my speed while also being able to see the whole field and watch things develop and I really enjoy that aspect of the game because it’s a different perspective than a forward has.”
Rather also is a swimmer but she gave that up when she came to Principia.
“I’ve played soccer for as long as I can remember, and since the age of five I have swam competitively but swimming is held in the winter in Missouri, so I chose basketball over swimming,” Rather said. “My dream would be playing both soccer and basketball in college, and Principia College would allow me to do both so it’s definitely a great option.”
Rather has enjoyed her one season with Johnson as her coach.
“It’s been fun playing for Kara,” Rather said. “She wasn’t a player that long ago, and she is also one of the other players from Principia who has achieved 1,000-plus points. It’s been a lot of learning for everyone this season, both players and coaches, but we’ve all learned a lot from the start to end of this season.
“I’m grateful for all my teammates that I’ve had, past and present, because none of this would have been possible without any of them or their help these past four years.”
Johnson said she will miss having Rather around school when she graduates.
“Georgia lives and breathes athletics. Besides basketball, she has played on the varsity soccer team all four years,” Johnson said. “While excelling on the athletic field, Georgia also performs well in the classroom. Away from school and sports, Georgia loves spending time with her family who lives in Wisconsin. She is the youngest of five children. She is grateful to have her mom live in St. Louis while she is finishing high school at Principia.
“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to coach Georgia for one year. She will definitely be missed in our program.”