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Thompson Passes the 1,000 Point Mark for BVT

Valley Tech senior Ashley Thompson let go with a prefect free throw shot during the February 26 game against Greater Lowell. The free throw was a landmark for Thompson and the school, her 1000th point while playing for the Beavers and the second time a female player has reached that mark for BVT. Contributed photo



As she stood at the free throw line, Ashley Thompson could feel the pressure building inside her. It was early in the Blackstone Valley Tech sectional tournament opener against Greater Lowell. In the postseason, every possession and every point takes on added significance. But this point mean even more, because Thompson was sitting on 999 career points. She took a few dribbles, let the ball fly, and watched it drop through the net to become just the second girls basketball player in BVT history to hit the 1,000 point mark.
"Having the last point come on a foul shot was not very exciting but way more nerve wracking," said the senior forward. "I had missed the first shot and it made me even more nervous. But when I made the second one, it was the best feeling. It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders."
Thompson finished with 15 points in the Beavers' 50-45, season ending loss to Greater Lowell. She finished her career with 1,011 points. Just a few weeks earlier, she was surprised to learn the milestone was even possible.
"My athletic director, Michele Denise, checked to see how many points I had and I didn't think I was close," said Thompson. "She came to me and told me I was only 86 points away so I started playing it out in my mind to see if I had a shot to get there."
Thompson was averaging more than 17 points per game at the time to lead both the Beavers and the Colonial Athletic League. Valley Tech had four games remaining in the regular season and at least one playoff game, so she would have to average more than 17 a night to reach 1,000. Thompson scored 17 against Nashoba after learning she was 86 away. She followed that up two days later with 19 points against Assabet, and scored 20 against Douglas and 26 against Monty Tech to finish the regular season with 996 career points.
"I was so nervous," she said. "I'm lucky though to have a great support system with my team and my coach and Athletic Director. I was panicking a little but we were also joking around about it. I just couldn't believe I was four points away. It was starting to sink in that I was actually going to do it."
Thompson is just the third player, male or female, to reach 1,000 points in a BVT uniform. She finished the year averaging 18.2 points per game, the second best total in all of Central Mass. After the big free throw, the officials paused the game momentarily. Denise announced the milestone and Thompson was presented with a bouquet of flowers from her head coach, Britt Kahler, and some congratulatory balloons for from her mother.
"It was a relief to get it over and done with so I could focus on the real game," said Thompson. "I knew it wouldn't take long to get four points and once it happened I could just play the game and focus on defense and trying to win."
Unfortunately for Thompson and the rest of the Beavers, the loss to Greater Lowell brought the season to an end. The 6'0" front court player with a knack for handling the ball plans to play at the collegiate level, and said she is deciding between Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., Johnson and Wales University in Providence, and Utica College in Utica, N.Y. Her career comes to a close with playoff appearances in her final two seasons, including a run to the sectional title game last year.
"I never in my wildest dreams thought I would play in a district final in my high school career, and that dream became a reality," said Thompson. "I could have never gotten to 1,000 points without my family, my coach, and my teammates. I have a tremendous support system around me, and I have been privileged to play with the best team."
For her coach, her teammates, and the BVT fans who have watched her play, the privilege has been all theirs.




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