By Kyle Daubs
Shae Littleford (above, right) just broke two all-time Charleston High girls basketball records – with the most revered mark within reach this week.
But more on that later.
Littleford set the school’s all-time assists mark during a 68-46 victory against Mattoon last Thursday night, passing Emily Garrett by reaching 315.
Littleford’s five steals in Monday’s victory over Mt. Zion gave her 270, which passed yet another Stephanie Harper standard.
But breaking the all-time scoring mark has been twice delayed – first, by a knee injury that caused Littleford to miss 10 games last season and, then, by a pandemic that wiped away at least half this regular season, plus all of the postseason.
Despite these challenges, Littleford ought to break the Charleston all-time scoring record sometime within the next five days. Based on a scoring average of about 24 points a game, Littelford should break the mark Monday at home against Taylorville, following tonight’s game at Lincoln and Saturday’s with Mattoon.
Littleford passed Harper for No. 2 on the all-time points list in Charleston High School history after dropping 23 points on Mount Zion on Monday night, bringing her single-season point total to 200 this season.
Effingham coach Jeff Shafer last month said the pandemic has taken away Littleford’s ability to set a school coring record that likely would never get broken.
“I am a statistical junkie and it just throws everything off,” said Schafer. “For Charleston, Shae should have gone down as the most prolific scorer in Charleston history and set records that may never have been reached, but losing 15-17 games is a killer. She has had such an incredible career.”
Instead, the incredibly well-spoken senior isn’t worried about stats, numbers, or fame – even while her team is 8-0 overall and leading the Apollo by two games with a 7-0 record.
She’s just glad she gets to talk about basketball at all.
“I don’t feel any pressure to break the record because I’m just thankful to get to play my senior year,” said Littleford. “We are taking one game at a time because it could end any moment due to the pandemic.”
Littleford has started every game she has been given the chance to play. Over the years, she has passed Charleston greats like Sara Fisher, Paige Swango – and now Harper – on the all-time list.
With 1,811 career-points, all that is left is Morgan Sherwood’s elusive 1,876 points.
“I feel honored to be on the list with the best girls basketball players in Charleston girl’s basketball history,” said Littleford. “It has never been a priority to me as a player. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to play with great players and great coaches.
With the way that Littleford produces on the court, there’s always a chance she could break the record Saturday in a rematch with Mattoon. But knocking the Green Wave out of Apollo contention with a win sounds better to her.
“We are 7-0 in the conference,” she said, “and my biggest goal this season is to win the Apollo to finish my high school career.”