By Shane Miller (Whetstone contributor)Seniors Angie Owens and Cory Boyd have set records for assists, blocking and rebounds, three essential categories for success on the court.
Owens is ranked No. 1 in career blocks with 222, not including this year’s playoffs. She is also the only player for either men or women to have more than a thousand rebounds.
Owens didn’t know she had broken the record of career blocks until after a game.
“Coach Wearden told me after the game that I broke the women’s blocks record and at the same time he realized I was very close to 1,000 rebounds,” she said.
Some players concentrate on records rather than the game when they’re close to breaking one.This wasn’t the case for Owens.
“In my mind, it’s all about winning first then making history,” she said.
Owens said it wasn’t always easy for her success on the court.
“Rebounding is never easy,” she said. “I call it the ‘Battle of the feet’ because you have to work hard for good positioning. Also, blocks are all about a player’s basketball I.Q. It takes a lot of work understanding everything about the game.”
Wearden had coached Owens throughout high school.
“She deserved to play at an NCAA Division One school and was very blessed that she came to Wesley,” he said.
Cory Boyd also had her share of breaking records.
Boyd is the women’s all-time leader in career assists with 625 and counting. She smashed the previous record of 378 held by T’Neisha Turner (2002-2006).To Boyd, it was the least likely record she thought she’d break because she had been a shooting guard in high school.
“When Cory (Boyd) sent her recruitment tape to me in late April before her freshman year, I neglected to watch it because our recruiting was over,” Wearden said. “It wasn’t until she called and asked that made me watch it. As soon as the tape was finished I called her back and said I need you to come to Wesley and play point guard.”
Boyd wasn’t a passer in high school, she said.
“But after making the change I felt great being the person that got my teammates involved,” she said. “Once I became comfortable with the switch to point guard, I really enjoyed running the show.”
A large percentage of Boyd’s assists come after an Owens field goal.
“She’s (Owens) the best center I ever played with so far,” Boyd said. “She’s a beast. We both came in as freshman and created great chemistry fast. It was amazing how fast we clicked.”
Owens said Boyd is the best player on the team.
“She’s unselfish and knows how to control our offense and that’s what makes her a great point guard,” she said.
Owens and Boyd are ranked third and fourth in career scoring, trailing only two other women whose numbers hang in Wentworth Gymnasium – Nicky Benton 1997-2001 and T’Neisha Turner 2002-2006.
They are also only two out of nine players in the program’s history to score more than 1,000 career points (Owens 1,462 and Boyd 1,190).
“It’s truly special and rare to see two players who are both capable of being the go-to player have over 1,000 points each,” Wearden said.
Boyd and Owens will be missed next season by their younger teammates, they said.
“Having them on the team gave us inspiration to try and become as good as these two girls when we become seniors,” said freshman teammate Haley Thomas.
Freshman Stephanie Hertz said she learned a lot from the duo.
“They have set the standards really high and everyone on the team shows them tremendous respect for what they accomplished,” she said.
There has been discussion about whether to retire No. 23 and No. 3, Owens’ and Boyd’s numbers.
“I’m not big on retiring numbers,” Wearden said. “The two retired already were before I became head coach. I would rather continue the legacy of these numbers by allowing the so called next ‘Angie Owens’ or ‘Cory Boyd’ shine with that numbered jersey.”
Owens and Boyd have received glass cases with the basketball they used when both broke their respective records.