CORTLAND - Going into Lakeview's encounter with Struthers on Monday night, Alli Pavlik sat just 18 points away from reaching the 1,000-point plateau.
With 2 minutes remaining in the third quarter of Lakeview's 69-56 win, the senior guard accrued 16 points, and Lakeview coach Adam Lewis tried to give Pavlik every chance to score that reach that milestone quickly, but she missed three consecutive shots, all within a couple of feet of the hoop.
"I knew when I was getting close on those last three layups. Every time he (Lewis) made me nervous because he would yell, 'Four-out for Alli,' " Pavlik said. "I knew everyone was looking at me, and then I got the rebound and missed again. I think it was just nerves."
The fourth time was the charm, when Calli Schmitt lobbed in a pass to the low post toward the 5-foot-7 Pavlik. She jumped up, came down with the ball behind her defender and laid it in for the 1,000th point with 1:08 remaining in the quarter.
Lewis said he was excited for Pavlik to become the fourth player in program history to eclipse the mark, but he found Pavlik's overall performance (24 points, five rebounds and four assists) more impressive.
"It was the elephant in the room this week," Lewis said. "I talked to her tonight right after school, and she just told me, 'Coach, I want to win this game more than anything. I don't really care about the 1,000 (points).'
"I thought she gave a very selfless performance tonight, really giving up the ball. It was a testament to her character and the type of player that she is the way she got her 1,000th point."
Early in the third quarter, one of Pavlik's teammates stole the show - at least for a short time.
Rachelle Calvin dropped 14 points in the first 6 minutes of the third, helping the Bulldogs (4-0) to a 51-32 lead at the 2:21 mark. The 5-5 senior posted a 4-of-4 mark from beyond the arc in the quarter, including three in the first two-and-a-half minutes.
She finished the game with 20 points.
"I was really happy," Calvin said. "I didn't want to steal the thunder away from Alli because Alli played an amazing game. We work together. If they wouldn't have gotten me the ball, then that wouldn't have happened."
Although the Bulldogs seemed to be cruising toward a win when Pavlik's 1,000th point gave them a 17-point lead, the Wildcats (0-1) came charging back late and almost stole the show themselves.
Struthers went on a 17-6 run over the next 7:10 to cut the deficit to six points with 1:42 remaining in the game. The Wildcats took advantage of the offensive glass, grabbing eight offensive rebounds, and also created pressure on offensive, collecting five steals, to pull themselves back in the game.
"We knew Struthers was a really tough opponent and they were not going to lie down," Lewis said. "They're well-coached, they're a very good team and we kind of figured they would make a comeback and they did."
Lakeview saw out the final 1:42, finishing the game on a 10-3 run to get the win.
Struthers coach John Grandy didn't blame a below-par shooting night (around 33 percent), instead pointing to the other side of the ball as the main reason for the loss.
"I thought defensively, we could have played better, and that's what lost us the game," Grandy said. "We usually don't give up 60-something points, and that's a good team. I don't want to take anything away from (Lakeview), but we just didn't play real good defense."
As for Pavlik, she said she was happy to reach the milestone and expressed her gratitude to her teammates for helping her reach it.
"I have to give a lot of it to my teammates because I could not have given any of those points without them," Pavlik said. "My team's a huge part of my success, and I have to give them most of (the credit).
"It's just great. I don't know how to describe the feeling."