MISSOULA, Mont. - Lady Broncs senior Vanessa Stavish is approaching the end of a brilliant basketball career for Frenchtown. She's been one of the top players in the Northwest Conference for multiple seasons and right now she leads the league averaging over 18 points per game. In fact Stavish has been making so many baskets for so long that earlier this month she hit a milestone in a game against Libby that very few athletes ever reach. She went over 1,000 points for her varsity career.
"They told the student section and after every shot they were counting down so that was fun," said Stavish of the memorable game against Libby. "So when I had two left and I hit that three-pointer I knew I had got it. So it was a good feeling and it makes me so thankful for all the coaches I've had all along and all the players I've played with."
"Oh I am so proud of her," says senior point guard Kayla Blood of her friend Stavish. "I have been her teammate for years and I'm just so proud of her. When I think of her thousand points it's just like she's grown up."
"I think it really says a lot about what she's really dedicated herself to all these years: working hard," says Lady Broncs head coach Jim Tolman.
The 1,000 points plateau requires durability not to mention a whole lot of skill and athleticism. Stavish's teammates and coaches say it's her inside-outside game that's made her so potent on offense.
"I mean she can hit the three. We love for her to shoot the three in certain situations," says Tolman. "She also knows how to post up, she's got a nose for the bucket."
"Our offense is pretty much for our posts and usually we're always looking for Vanessa because she can finish so well under the basket," explains Blood. "And even outside she can just knock them down."
Currently Stavish and the Lady Broncs have their sights set on a third straight Northwest Conference title and another trip to the state tournament. But after this season Stavish will continue her basketball career at the college level. Stavish had multiple full ride offers, including one from Division-1 Northern Colorado out of the Big Sky Conference, but in the end she selected to stay in Montana and compete next season for the Yellowjackets at MSU-Billings.
"It was a really tough decision for me but I definitely felt like the Billings coaches were the best suited to me," says Stavish.
"I'm really excited for her," beams Tolman about Stavish's future. "I think that she'll be able to take her talents over there and do a good job for them."
Frenchtown's final game of the regular season is Thursday, February 20th where the Lady Broncs will battle on the road at Polson. The Northwest Conference divisional tournament will commence the following week in Kalispell with games starting Thursday, February 27.