When Kendall Zoulek scored on a reverse layup early in the fourth quarter Wednesday night, the whistle blew and the Shelby senior wondered if she had done something wrong.
“I didn’t know what was going on because the AD came out on the court. I thought that they were going to give me a technical, even though I didn’t do anything,” she said.
Zoulek did something big – she scored the 1,000th point of her career and did so in the final game on her home floor. When the whistle blew and the action stopped, an official tossed the game ball to Shelby athletic director Chuck Persenaire, who met Zoulek at midcourt and presented her the memento.
The public-address announcer declared, “With that basket, that was Kendall Zoulek’s 1,000th career point. Congratulations … let’s give her a big Shelby Tiger round of applause.”
Zoulek hugged Persenaire, then she embraced mother Sarah Wolting, who is her coach at Shelby and also holds a spot in the school’s 1,000-point club. Zoulek then got hugs from teammates.
Shelby pulled out a 37-34 West Michigan Conference victory over visiting Whitehall, as the Tigers’ Aubrey Klotz hit a 3-pointer with 23 seconds remaining after the Vikings tied it moments early with a triple of their own.
Whitehall had a chance to tie the game with a free throw with 10 seconds left, but could not convert.
Photos courtesy of Marc Inglis
Zoulek entered the night needing 13 points to reach the 1,000-point milestone, although she wasn’t quite sure where she stood before the game. The 5-foot-9 guard/forward finished with a team-high 16 points to go along with eight rebounds, two assists and one block.
“Once (the PA announcer) announced it to the crowd, I was very shocked because I knew I was close, but I didn’t think I was that close,” Zoulek said.
Wolting, a 1998 Shelby alumna, finished with 1,071 career points. She believes that her daughter is just the fifth Tigers girls player to join the 1,000-point club. Others include Debbie Killips (1998), Sydney Czurek (2013) and Jenny Beckman (2018).
The Shelby-Whitehall game was originally scheduled to be played Tuesday at Whitehall, but it got postponed to Wednesday. The contest was moved to Shelby because Whitehall already had a home boys basketball game scheduled for Wednesday against Ludington.
Zoulek and Wolting both said it felt like fate for the 1,000-point achievement to happen on their home court the last time Zoulek will compete on that floor.
“Crazy to think that it’s been 24 years since I made 1,000,” Wolting said. “I am so proud of the career she has had at Shelby and to have her on that very small list of girls from Shelby means the world to me.
“It was awesome that our game got moved to Shelby – feels like fate. I really wanted her to do it at Shelby. Awesome that all of the Shelby fans could see her do it on our home floor on her last night ever playing at Shelby.”
Klotz finished with nine points and four assists for Shelby (11-8 overall, 7-6 WMC), while Molli Schultz had six points, three rebounds and three steals.
Charley Klint led all players with 20 points and 11 rebounds for Whitehall (8-12, 6-8) in her team’s regular-season finale. Jaydn Ringler and Lola Buckner added six and five points, respectively, for the Vikings.
Shelby wraps up the regular season tonight at Montague. That game will be livestreamed for free on the CatchMark SportsNet YouTube channel.
State tournament play begins next week with district action. Regardless what happens the rest of the way, Zoulek will have an unforgettable night to always reflect upon.
“It was awesome that my family and the Shelby fans could be there. My cousin had said that it was like Christmas morning, except everyone knew but me,” quipped Zoulek, who is a four-year varsity starter.
“It was very special. I knew that the 1,000-point scorer list was small and I had always made it one of my goals to score 1,000 points, just like my mother did in high school.”
MASON COUNTY CENTRAL 40, NORTH MUSKEGON 18: At North Muskegon, the visiting Spartans used a balanced effort to wrap up conference play on a high note. The host Norse led 7-2 after the first quarter on senior night, but MCC made its move in the second quarter and began to pull away.
Grace Weinert 12 points, 4 assists
Charlie Banks 9 points, 6 rebounds
Wren Nelson 9 points, 6 rebounds
North Muskegon leaders:
No stats submitted
Mason County Central 13-6 overall, 9-5 WMC
North Muskegon 2-17 overall, 0-14 WMC
Mason County Central at Fruitport Calvary Christian, 5:30 p.m. Friday
North Muskegon vs. Shelby, 7 p.m. Monday in first round of district at Holton
WESTERN MICHIGAN CHRISTIAN 70, OAKRIDGE 41: At Oakridge, the host Eagles hung around in the first half as they trailed 14-11 after one quarter and 29-21 at halftime, but the Warriors pulled away in the second half in the nonleague matchup.
Destyni Lane 12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals
Jasmine Pastor 12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists
Andrea Romero-Serrano 6 points, 4 steals
No stats submitted
Oakridge 7-12 overall
Western Michigan Christian 13-4 overall
Oakridge at Hart, 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Western Michigan Christian at Muskegon Catholic Central, 5:30 p.m. Friday
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