WINDHAM – The Windham girls basketball team (6-3) flew high on Tuesday as they rode a wave of emotion to 59-47 home victory over Gorham (4-5).

The Eagles’ Meghan Gribbin stole the show, burying 36 points on her way to eclipsing the 1,000-point milestone, an achievement that has only been accomplished twice before in Windham High School girls basketball history, by Payson Swan in 1996 and Leah Bennett in 1998.

The crowd at Windham was a little different Tuesday night. There weren’t the usual pockets of students gathered together. There wasn’t a random slew of parents sitting courtside watching their daughters play.

Instead the gymnasium was packed as parents, students and supporters squeezed together on both sides of the court in the hopes of witnessing a milestone achievement that had only been reached once in Windham’s history. It was truly more of an event than a midseason girl’s basketball game as Gribbin looked to score her 1,000th point.

She needed 21. But more on that later…

There was still a game to be played and the Rams looked to play the part of the spoilers.

Call it nerves or anxious anticipation, but the Eagles did not jump out to a commanding lead as they have so often done this season against weaker competition. Instead, they found themselves in a grudge match during the first quarter as they only managed to score 10 points, taking a slim two-point lead into the second quarter. Gribbin was responsible for five of the Eagles’ first quarter points.

Just 16 away…

“I think mentally we slipped a little bit,” said Windham coach Jessie Cummings in regards to her team’s lackluster start as the rest of Gribbin’s teammates allowed her to become the primary scorer from the game’s start.

This wasn’t exactly disappointing for Cummings. “I’ve been asking her to do it for three years! Its about time she did it,” a joking Cummings said.

Starting the second quarter, Gribbin came off a screen down low and buried a contested 3 in the corner to put the Eagles up by five. Then she caught fire, scoring the first 11 points for the Eagles in the quarter. If she wanted to, she could have scored the first 13, but Gribbin decided to kick the ball to fellow guard Stephanie Frost on a 2-1 break rather than trying to finish a contested layup for one of her five assists.

Gribbin got back to work moments later as she hit a couple of jumpers to put her total at 20 for the game, as the Eagles took a commanding 31-13 lead into halftime.

Just 1 point away… Now it was only a matter of time. It was inevitable.

It took 55 seconds for Gribbin to send the crowd into a frenzy. After a Rams’ bucket, Gribbin took the inbounds pass and drove straight down the middle of the court into the heart of the Gorham defense. Gribbin got just inside the free throw line before stopping on a dime and pulling up for a 10-foot jumper.

Gribbin banked it in and brought everyone, including Gorham supporters to their feet as she tallied her 1,000th and 1,001st points of her terrific high school career.

Her jumper forced a stoppage in play, which had been organized by Windham Athletic Director Rich Drummond.

During the stoppage, Gribbin was handed the game ball by Cummings and a commemorative plaque from Drummond acknowledging her achievement. After the break in the action, it was easy to forget that there was nearly a whole half of basketball to be played.

“When she scored, the energy went down a little bit,” said Cummings as she watched her team allow the Rams to creep back to within 10 towards the end of the third. Gribbin was able to stop the bleeding as she buried two more jumpers to allow the Eagles to take a 15-point lead into the fourth.

Despite the Rams’ best efforts to make it a game, the Eagles’ early lead was too much to overcome as Gribbin once again put the team on her back in the fourth scoring 10 more points on her way to a 36-point effort while leading her team to the victory.

“The fire was in her belly tonight,” said Cummings. “She wanted it against Gorham. They knocked us out of the playoffs last year, so I think it’s a little bit of revenge.”

Windham’s Meghan Gribbin, right, is embraced by her teammates
after she hit the 1,000-point milestone during a win at home over
Gorham on Tuesday night. Gribbin, who needed 21 points going into
the game to reach 1,000, finished the night with 36 points. (Staff
photo by Nate Boroyan)

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