That is all that stood between Emilee Gustin and the career milestone of 1,000 points.
That is also symbolic of Gustin’s career as she holds the school record for the most three-pointers made in a career.
So while the set up seemed perfect for the sharpshooter to reach the milestone, not everything goes according to plan when the game begins.
“I was super nervous, and everything was set up for me to get my 1,000th point,” Gustin said.
An air of anticipation hung over the gym, and the Crusaders looked to get Gustin her milestone early. And while the fans all knew that the senior was three points shy of 1,000, so did the other team. Mayer Lutheran attempted an early play to get Gustin to score, yet Sibley East defended it well.
So the first shot didn’t fall, and neither did the second. The emotions rose and fell with each attempt, as the ball refused to go in for the sharpshooter. Mayer Lutheran fell behind early as Gustin struggled from the field, but the Crusaders rallied and put the nerves behind them.
“[I thought], just keep shooting, and just keep playing the game because I would rather get the win,” Gustin said. “I wanted to focus on getting the W rather than getting my 1,000th point.”
Putting the milestone in the back of their minds, the Crusaders focused on the opponent in front of them, and that is when things started going their way. Once Mayer Lutheran took the lead and started to distance themselves from the Wolverines, Gustin finally found the basket to put her at 1,000 career points.
“It was excitement rushing through your body, the happiness, it was amazing,” she said. “It’s crazy. Back when I was a freshman, I would’ve never told you that this was coming. I never would’ve thought that I would get my 1,000th point but I’m so happy that all of my hard work and everything with this team has paid off.”
Gustin’s triple put Mayer Lutheran up 25-13 and gave a father-daughter duo a memory they will cherish.
“There are a lot of emotions that go into it,” said Kris Gustin, Emilee’s father and coach. “But proud is the first one.”
The Gustins have shared many moments on the court together, and on Parent’s Night, it was fitting that they shared one more.
“Me and my dad have such a strong bond through this game, so it just meant even more to get it on parents night for him,” Emilee Gustin said.
With the milestone reached, the Crusaders rolled through Sibley East Feb. 9, winning the conference matchup 77-50.
Mya Chmielewski led the scoring effort with 26 points, and was dominant in all aspects of the game. The junior picked up eight steals and hauled in eight boards to go along with the game-high in points.
Maddy Hucky and Emilee Gustin also reached double-figures with 12 and 11 points respectively. Hucky also grabbed seven boards.
Kate Strehlke and Olivia Quiram were strong inside for the Crusaders, both picking up eight points while Strehlke hauled in seven rebounds.
Nicole Klaustermeier led the team with four assists while also picking up four steals.
MLHS 68 Southwest Christian 58
On Saturday night, the Crusaders outlasted the Southwest Christian Stars, halting their seven-game win streak with a 10 point victory.
“I thought we played really well, even though they had runs and stuff, we always fought back,” Emilee Gustin said. “We never gave up, even when they had runs and got close to us.”
The two sides battled back-and-forth for much of the game before Mayer Lutheran started to pull away. Midway through the second half, a triple from Emilee Gustin and a putback from Quiram put the Crusaders up by 10, tying their largest lead of the night.
After a timeout, the Stars rallied and drew with in three points before Mayer Lutheran got clutch plays from Klaustermeier, Chmielewski and Hucky. Klaustermeier started the 9-2 run with an offensive rebound and a layup, followed by a three from Chmielewski and a pair of layups from Hucky.
Even though Mayer Lutheran erased the run from Southwest Christian, the Stars clawed back again.
“They just worked hard,” Emilee Gustin said. “They handled our press well. They never gave up. They kept working hard all the way until the end.”
Yet the Stars could not complete the comeback, as Strehlke and Klaustermeier delivered at the free throw line late. Strehlke went 4/4 at the stripe, while Klaustermeier went 2.2 and added a score in transition off of a steal.
The Crusaders easily won the turnover battle, committing 15 compared to the Stars’ 29. A big part of that number came from Mayer Lutheran’s tenacious defense as they picked up 18 steals compared to Southwest Christian’s three. Chmielewski led the team with seven steals, followed by Klaustermeier (5), Hucky (4), Strehlke (1) and Emilee Gustin (1).
Chmielewski also led the team in points with 24, followed by Hucky (15), Klaustermeier (14), Emilee Gustin (7), Strehlke (4), Sophie Flucas (2) and Quiram (2).
Emilee Gustin and Strehlke led the team in rebounds with six each, while Klaustermeier led with four assists.