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Column

L/O senior joins lofty 2,000-point club

LaMoille-Ohio senior Lexi Loftus was presented with the game ball after going over the 2,000 career point mark in the Lady Lions regional win over DePue Tuesday. She scored 22 more points in Wednesday's loss to Wethersfield, finishing with 2,029 for her career.
LaMoille-Ohio senior Lexi Loftus was presented with the game ball after going over the 2,000 career point mark in the Lady Lions regional win over DePue Tuesday. She scored 22 more points in Wednesday's loss to Wethersfield, finishing with 2,029 for her career.

Earlier this month, I wrote a column about all the 1,000-point scorers from Bureau County. Let’s take this up another grand.

Tuesday night was a monumental night for LaMoille/Ohio senior Lexi Loftus, who joined the 2,000-point club with 33 points to lead the Lady Lions to a 52-29 win over DePue in first-round play in the Wethersfield 1A regional tournament.

Loftus becomes just the second girl in Bureau County history to score 2,000 points. She passed up Neponset’s Jolene Bair, who scored 1,989 from 1989-93, finishing with 2,029 after scoring 22 more in her final game Wednesday against Wethersfield.

Hall great Kailey Klein (2002-06) is No. 1 all-time with 2,496 points.

Loftus, in fact, is one of only seven players, boys or girls, according to BCR files, to score 2,000 points. It’s a list that includes fellow Ohio greats, Brad Bickett (1982-86) with 2,177 and Brian Piper (1987-91) with 2,132. Piper sent Loftus a congratulatory note via Twitter Tuesday night, welcoming her to “the club.”

That club is headed by DePue all-stater Ron Zagar, Bureau County’s all-time leading scorer, who scored 2,515 career points from 1953-57. In the same era, Charlie Moretz, scored 2,224 points for the Buda Bears from 1953-56.

Most recently, Bureau Valley standout Parker Neuhalfen (2011-15) netted 2,208 points.

Other 2,000-point scorers around the area are:

Kewanee’s Donovan Oliver (2012-16) — 2,355

Amboy’s Jaron McCracken (1994-97) — 2,256

Mendota’s Don Hamel (1965-69) — 2,158

Putnam County’s Carlton Fay (2003-07) — 2,129

Rochelle’s Ben Rand (1999-03) — 2,144

Annawan’s Tanner Carlson (2005-08) — 2,045

There’s an interesting note to the 2,000-point club on the girls side.

Val Wancket (1984-87) scored 2,644 points for old Atkinson High School from 1984-87. However, she has to pass family bragging rights over to her daughter, Annawan senior Jayde VanHyfte, who passed up Mom by one point to spare with 2,645 heading into Friday’s regional championship.

Jayde also passed up her older sister, Celina, who scored 2,492 for Annawan from 2011-14.

Annawan’s Kelly Buresh also netted 2,205 from 2007-10.

• Former Bureau Valley quarterback Drake Davis has committed to the University of Illinois and head coach Lovie Smith as a preferred walk-on. He transferred to 8A Naperville North for his senior year, where he totaled 3,409 total yards and 32 touchdowns.

On his Twitter account, Davis states, “My goal as a QB has never been to just play D1 football, it has always and will always be to be the best QB in the country.”

He received a scholarship offer from Eastern Illinois University.

Kevin Hieronymus is the BCR Sports Editor. Contact him at khieronymus@bcrnews.com.

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