Vikings win; Davidson hits 1,000

Published 9:53 pm Friday, January 30, 2015

Hattie Davidson, a junior on the Northwood-Kensett girls' basketball team, broke the 1,000-point barrier in her third season of varsity play Friday in the first half against Nashua-Plainfield at Northwood. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Hattie Davidson, a junior on the Northwood-Kensett girls’ basketball team, broke the 1,000-point barrier in her third season of varsity play Friday in the first half against Nashua-Plainfield at Northwood. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

NORTHWOOD — Career achievements set Friday’s game apart from the rest of the season for a player and coach on the Northwood-Kensett girls’ basketball team.

Hattie Davidson surpassed 1,000 career points, coach Daryl Love earned his 100th career win and the Vikings stayed perfect in Class 1A with a 67-38 win over Nashua-Plainfield at Northwood.

Love said he was proud of Davidson’s achievement and that Kate Hartman’s career scoring school record of 1,525 points is within her grasp.

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“She’s on pace to break the all-time record as well,” Love said. “Hopefully, she’ll stay healthy. That’s the only thing that I worry about.”

Davidson, a junior, passed the scoring milestone after 62 varsity games. She led the Vikings in scoring all three years she was eligible to play varsity. In contrast to the Minnesota State High School League, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union does not allow athletes below the high school level to participate in varsity sports.

As a freshman, Davidson led Northwood-Kensett with an average of 11.7 points per game through 25 games. She boosted the average to 16.7 points per game through 21 games as a sophomore, and this year she is one of six players in Class 1A to average more than 20 points per game at 22.9 through 15 outings.

The points that broke the barrier were made on a drive to the basket 11.3 seconds before halftime. The fans gave Davidson a standing ovation and she was honored at halftime.

Love didn’t want to take the spotlight for his milestone after the game.

“I was trying to keep it quiet and keep the focus on the girls,” he said.

Before Love took over the program 13 years ago, the Vikings hadn’t posted a winning record since they started playing 5-on-5 basketball, he said. The first few years were rough. Love started 5-104.

“I was questioning myself,” he said. “I just didn’t know if it was the right decision to coach at (the varsity) level.”

However, the coach stayed the course and started a weight-lifting program along with speed and agility workouts. After the slow start, the program has gone 82-74.

“From then on, we’ve been competitive,” Love said. “This took some time, but now it’s just the expectation to win every time they step on the court.”

Two years ago, the Vikings were a win away from the state tournament with a berth in the regional finals, and last year the team was ranked in the state polls for the first time.

The win over Nashua-Plainfield improved Northwood-Kensett’s record to 13-2.

Shelby Low led the Vikings with 22 points, Davidson has 19 and Tegan Cotter added nine.

The Huskies trailed 12-11 early in the second quarter, but Northwood-Kensett pulled away with 3-pointers by Low, Cotter and Davidson before halftime to lead 35-18 at the break.

The Vikings have only lost to opponents in classes larger than 1A. They lost 67-44 in their season opener against Hampton-Dumont (14-1), ranked No. 5 in 3A. Their other loss was 43-42 against West Fork (14-2), a team in 2A.

Look for results from Northwood-Kensett’s game against Lake Mills in Monday’s Tribune. Next, the Vikings will play at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Nashua-Plainfield. It will be the second time the two teams play in four days.