BEEKMANTOWN — It’s nearly impossible to ignore Shannon Ryan’s 6-foot-4-inch frame.
However, no measuring stick indicates hard work.
After hitting a free throw with 4:41 remaining in the third quarter of Beekmantown’s 45-36 victory over Saranac in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference girls’ basketball, the sophomore became the 46th player in Section VII history to eclipse 1,000 career points.
Ryan is the third player in school history to reach the milestone, joining Suzanne Frenyea (1993) and Erika Covey (2002).
“It’s a great honor to be in a group with such highly-regarded girls’ basketball players,” Ryan said. “I can’t emphasize enough how much of an impact my coaches and teammates have had on me achieving this. They’ve pushed me to become the best player that I can be, and I couldn’t have done this without them.
“Coach (Greg) Waters works so hard at getting us into shape. He’s a great guy and fun to be around. I really don’t think that is something you can get at every school — someone who is such a great person as a coach.”
Each of Ryan’s two older brothers have also surpassed the mark. Keegan went over 1,000 Dec. 11, while Thomas (2011) finished his career with 1,080 points.
“When I went to the free throw line, I was thinking about all of the times I would play with my brothers in the driveway,” Ryan said. “They’re so much stronger than me, but it definitely helped out a lot. It’s really special to get it the same year as (Keegan).”
Waters, who has coached at the varsity level for 29 years, admires Ryan’s commitment on and off the court.
“She is a really good role model for all of her teammates and our program,” Waters said. “In order to achieve something like this, you’ve got to put in all the extra time, and she’s set a good example for what needs to be done. Playing AAU and attending camps year-round has proved to play an impact in her development as a player.”
The Eagles (11-2, 11-1) used an 11-3 second-quarter run to take a 25-18 lead at halftime.
Ryan finished with 19 points, which included seven field goals and five free throws. Grace Kelly added 15 points, while Emily Anderson chipped in five.
Emma Newell’s 10 points led the Chiefs (8-4, 8-4).
“Foul shooting was a huge part of the game,” Waters said. “We were able to get to the line for 28 shots as compared to their 14. Our defensive effort after the first quarter was outstanding.”
Ryan, who cherished the moment with family, friends and members of the community, now sets her sights on becoming the second player in Section VII history to reach 2,000 points. Westport’s Julie Moore was able to do so in 1992.
Beekmantown 45, Saranac 36
Trim 2-0-5, Ka. Napper 1-1-3, Kr. Napper 1-1-3, Gillespie 4-0-8, Newell 3-3-10, Bowman 2-2-6, Marnes 1-1-3, O’Connell 0-0-0, Layhee 0-0-0, Andre 0-0-0. Totals: 14-8-36.
Wilson 2-0-4, Guynup 1-0-2, Ryan 7-5-19, Kelly 3-9-15, Anderson 2-1-5, Barcomb 0-0-0, LaFountain 0-0-0, McKinnley 0-0-0. Totals: 15-15-45.
Saranac 15 3 10 8 — 36
Beekmantown 12 13 9 11 — 45
3-point goals: Saranac (2): Trim, Newell.