Perkiomen School junior Nicole Pupillo lays up on her 1,000th career point on the court in Monday night's home game against Kimberton-Waldorf School. Pupillo ended the contest with 25 points.
Perkiomen School junior Nicole Pupillo was able to reach a milestone Monday night that no other female student ever achieved in the school’s storied history – a career-high 1,000 points on the basketball court.
Pupillo, of Gilbertsville, had only five points to go at tip-off Jan. 14 against Kimberton-Waldorf School at home in Tri-County League action.
The air was full of anticipation for the contest as fans clad in their traditional purple and gold, equipped with noisemakers and pom-poms, crowded the stands to see Pupillo, #24, score her 1,000th point.
And she didn’t disappoint. The Lady Panthers won the tip-off and got the ball to Pupillo for her first layup, and the first two points of the game. Within the first five minutes, she took another layup for two and, with her team up 8-2, Pupillo got the ball from her teammates and broke away down the court, scoring her 1,000th point at 3:28.
The enthusiastic crowd rose to their feet and gameplay stopped. With the game at a halt, the basketball that Pupillo scored her record with was immediately removed and traditionally gifted to the young player, as she shook hands with administrators and coaches.
When the gameplay resumed, the Lady Panthers did not slow down. Despite respectable attempts by Kimberton-Waldorf’s players, Perkiomen was ready to stake their claim.
At the end of the first quarter, the Lady Panthers led 17-2, with four more points from Pupillo, who would go on to post a game-high 25.
Perkiomen School seemed to have trouble keeping possession of the ball during the second quarter as Kimberton Waldorf brought their score up to 13. The Lady Panthers, however, didn’t let the points go unanswered, matching almost every one of Kimberton’s baskets with one of their own. They finished out the second quarter with a 26-13 lead.
Perk’s third and fourth quarters showed the Lady Panthers keeping their substantial lead, with Pupillo and her teammates continuing to respond to every Kimberton basket.
Pupillo scored the final shot during the last minute, giving the Lady Panthers an impressive 58-33 win.
“It felt amazing,” said Pupillo on her 1,000 points. “I’m so glad I got to share this with my Perkiomen School teammates; and the community has been so supportive.”
She’s a great kid to start with,” noted Perkiomen Athletic Director Ken Baker Tuesday morning. “She is an outstanding person who works hard at the game. She is also a great student and is certainly the type of young athlete you like to see.”
It turns out that Pupillo, who averages 18.7 points per game, wasn’t even sure she was going to be able to take to the courts this season. Baker said she tore her ACL last March, but worked extremely hard to come back with the school’s trainer and was cleared to play before the start of the girls’ season.
Her team is well on their way to being seeded for playoffs with a 9-3 record.