Grain Valley freshman Grace Slaughter had no idea she had broken the 18-year-old school scoring record.
Until she did it.
Slaughter scored 22 points to propel the Eagles to a convincing 52-28 Class 4 District 14 semifinal win over host Oak Grove.
Slaughter’s performance gives the freshman sensation 579 points on the season, breaking Laura Reeves’ mark of 576 points set in 2002.
"Coach (Randy) Draper told me about it after I got the record," Slaughter said after helping the Eagles advance to Friday’s 5:30 p.m. championship game. "All I knew was that I got 500 points a while back, and I think I knew what the single-season record was, but I’m not sure when I got it tonight."
It came on her 20th point. Draper and assistant coaches Troy Spradley and Kassidy Chunning were keeping track on the bench, a luxury when a close game turns into a blowout.
"Sprad knows all those records," Draper said, grinning, "and I wanted to let her know during a timeout so we could share it with her teammates. They love and respect her because she is such a hard worker. They know how hard she has worked this season and they’ve worked hard, too."
No one worked harder Monday night than junior Jordyn Weems, who scored 12 points, grabbed six boards and came away with a handful of steals.
"Jordyn was amazing tonight," Slaughter said. "And Ella (Clyman) played a great game, too. I’d rather talk about how amazing we played tonight as a team. We got a great win and we have made it to the championship Friday night."
The Eagles started the game on a 7-0 run and took a 14-6 lead into the second period.
But coach Toni Leon’s gritty Panthers used their own 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 14-13 at 4:17.
"That’s when I thought our kids really showed what they were made of," Draper said. "We’re the top seed, we’re playing a team we’re supposed to beat and they made that run and we don’t panic, we just get to work."
By getting to work, he meant the Eagles went on an 11-2 run to take a 25-15 lead into halftime.
"I thought that was the turning point of the game," Slaughter said. "We didn’t panic, because our coaches had us so ready to play and so prepared, we were ready for something like that and we knew how to react."
Slaughter scored nine points in the third quarter and the Eagles blew the game open, taking a 39-23 lead into the fourth quarter.
"The best thing about our team is that we all know our roles," Weems said. "We know what a great player Grace is, and we want to make her even better by doing what we do best."
Clyman, who had seven points and eight rebounds, added, "All we want to do is win, and we win by knowing our roles and doing them the best we can."
Oak Grove coach Toni Leon was proud of her squad, which finished its season at 9-15.
"We had a game plan and our girls followed it to perfection," Leon said. "We made that run in the second quarter and made it close, and, well, Grain Valley just showed what an outstanding team they are."
Destiny Valentine led the Panthers with 14 points.