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Sports Briefs: Feb. 12

Kennedi Watkins [Photo courtesy of Marquette]

High school girls basketball

Marquette junior Kennedi Watkins, a 5-foot-11 forward, has topped 1,000 points in her career with the Mustangs.

The big moment came on a free throw against Jackson in the Lindbergh Tournament. Marquette won the game 52-32.

“Hitting 1,000 points was an extremely exciting moment for me, it was almost unreal at the moment,” Watkins said. “I had got fouled and went to the free-throw line. The gym was dead silent, and the ref handed me the ball, and I was like shaking. I do my routine and make the shot. My teammates run into me, and coach [Tim] Bowdern calls a time out, and I was in shock.

“I didn’t know what had happened. My parents, family and my teammates’ families all had posters and signs and were cheering, and all I could do was laugh and smile. I knew if I looked in the crowd too long I would cry. They announced that I hit 1,000 points and gave me the game ball. Then, we continued to play the game.”

Watkins is just the fourth Mustang in Marquette’s history to have broken 1,000 points. Taylor Campbell leads that scoring list with 1,831 career points. Bowdern believes Watkins can move up the list.

“Kennedi could very well score 1,500 points when it is all done,” Bowdern said. “That is very doable for her. She should end up second all-time in our history next year.”

Bowdern was happy to see her reach 1,000 points.

“Kennedi is definitely a kid that people notice,” Bowdern said. “One of the coolest things that happened after the game was her third-grade teacher emailed to congratulate her. I think once you know Kennedi the person, you are always going to remember her kind, warm smile.”

Watkins is leading the Mustangs’ attack this season. She is averaging 15.7 points a game. She connects on 48.6% of her field goal attempts. Watkins pulls down a team-leading 8.1 rebounds a game.     

High school boys basketball

CBC senior Caleb Love has been chosen to play in one of the nation’s top high school basketball all-star games – the 2020 McDonald’s All-American Games. The 43rd installment of the Games will take place on April 1 at the Toyota Center in Houston and will be telecast live on ESPN2 and ESPN.

The 6-foot-4 Love signed to play in college at North Carolina last November. A point guard, he is regarded as the top player in Missouri and the No. 3 point guard in the class of 2020, according to scouting services.

Love, a five-star recruit, is averaging 27.1 points a game for the Cadets. He is the second player from CBC to be chosen for the game. Larry Hughes was selected in 1997. His son, Larry Hughes Jr., is a sophomore playing on the CBC squad.

McDonald’s All American Games for boys and girls celebrate the next generation of basketball stars and their hustle in the pursuit of achieving greatness. A total of 48 high school seniors – comprising the top 24 girls and 24 boys in the country – were selected from more than 900 nominated players by a committee of basketball experts.  

High school football

Jordan Johnson [Photo courtesy of Johnson]

De Smet Jesuit wide receiver/defensive back Jordan Johnson played in the recent All-American Bowl that featured many of the nation’s 100 best senior football players. 

The 6-foot-2 and 185-pound Johnson, who is headed to Notre Dame next year, played at the Alamodome in downtown San Antonio. He was on the East team that lost 33-20 to the West.

Johnson is rated a five-star recruit by 247Sports and Rivals and a four-star recruit by ESPN.com.

“He caught a couple of passes in the game,” said De Smet coach Rob Steeples, who attended the game. “He looked good. He did a good job and showed he can play with anyone.”

Johnson helped De Smet Jesuit to the 2019 Missouri Class 6 state championship, the first for the school since 2005. As a senior, he hauled in 29 receptions for 587 yards and eight touchdowns, adding one rushing touchdown.

Youth swimming

The annual Rockwood Swim Club Swim-a-Thon will be held at Crestview Middle School on Feb. 22

The Swim-a-Thon is a USA Swimming Foundation-approved fundraiser used by swim teams all over the United States to raise money for their respective club, said Rockwood’s Swim-A-Thon coordinator Irene Kinsey. To raise money, swimmers receive pledges and donations from family members, friends, neighbors and local businesses. 

“A total of 5% of the proceeds raised from our Swim-a-Thon goes back to the USA Swimming Foundation to support learn-to- swim programs and to provide financial support to our U.S. National Team athletes and coaches with the remaining funds going directly to support our team,” Kinsey said. “Our club holds this celebration event where swimmers do either 100 or 200 laps to raise money for our team. It’s our main fundraiser and helps offset team expenses and maintenance for our 50-meter pool at Crestview.”

Kinsey said the club’s goal is to have 100% participation this year from kids ages 5 to 18.  

“There are 300 swimmers on the team ranging from stroke improvement levels to Olympic Time Trial qualified,” Kinsey said. “We try to make it super fun by having a party and ‘lock-in’ after they swim laps. Coaches and swimmers play games and have a pizza party to celebrate their accomplishments.”  

The top two fundraisers last year were Ella Wolf and Spencer Kinsey. Both raised more than $1,200 each, Kinsey said.

Athletic testing

The Standardized Athlete Test, or SAT, is a new evolutionary way for athletes to train and compare themselves to other athletes around the country. It is a combination of athletic performance evaluations comprised of the 40-yard dash, the 5-10-5 L drill, broad jump and vertical jump, plus body measurements of reach, wing span, hand size, height and weight. The power pushup is also measured on a force plate. 

Because the test is fully automated and monitored by lasers, it is virtually impossible not to achieve 100% accuracy in the testing, every time. 

According to its developers, Colorado-based Zybek Sports, the SAT can give high school athletes an unbiased evaluation of their skill level. It also compiles their statistics into a Zybek database consisting over 100,000 athletes nationwide. 

Although the testing is based off of the NFL Combine, athletes in all sports are welcome. The SAT will be offered at D1 STL West, 14015 Manchester Road, at 9 a.m. on Feb. 22. The cost is $75 per athlete. 

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CAPS intern Hunter Moore contributed to these briefs. 

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