Updated at 10:28 p.m.
By Race Archibald
Four year starter.
First-team all-Apollo Conference selection.
IHSA Class 3A all-state selection.
University of Tennessee-Martin commit.
All-time leader in steals and assists for Charleston girls basketball.
Shae Littleford can add one more accomplishment to her impressive resume as she closes out her historic career in Charleston.
Littleford needed 25 points Monday night against Taylorville to pass Morgan Sherwood’s 1,876 career scoring mark. She had 20 at halftime, as those watching in Baker Gym prepared to witness history unfold.
“I knew I was getting close,” Littleford said. “I tried to not focus on it because once you focus on it you start to force (shots), and I didn’t want to reach that point.”
Her first field goal of the second half, a short jumper from the top of the key pulled her within two points of tying the record at 22. Later in the quarter, Littleford broke free behind the defense in transition, and she went up for a layup with a Taylorville defender trailing.
The shot went in, plus she was fouled. Littleford was sent to the line tied with Sherwood at 1,876 career points.
Everyone watched in anticipation. She took a deep breath, made the shot, and took her place atop the all-time scoring chart for the Trojans.
“Shae is a scorer,” Coach Jeff Miller said. “She gets to the rim, (has) a good step-back and mid-range game, she can shoot the three. Really does it all.”
She received a standing ovation from the crowd, and a hug from her coach as Miller put the game ball aside for Littleford to keep.
Miller had also coached the number two and three all-time scorers on the school’s scoring list, Sherwood and Stephanie Harper.
In addition to being the top scorer, Littleford has the most assists and steals in school history, as well as the single-season record for points (707) set during her sophomore season.
“That speaks for itself,” Miller said. “She should be a first-team all-state player this year. Minus the pandemic last year, I think that would have been a done deal. She’s in the mix.”
Don’t forget: Littleford missed 10 games last year with a knee injury, and has had her senior season cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. She has been able to set these marks without playing a full slate of games, making her records even more impressive.
“It’s never really been something I’ve been looking for or a goal of mine,” Littleford said. “I’m just thankful to be playing with my great teammates. Every single one of my shots tonight came from a pass.”
The same message was echoed by her father, Jim Littleford, the retired superintendent of schools who serves as an assistant coach for the Trojans.
“We never talked about it,” Jim Littleford said. “It’s not something we focus on, but it’s a nice accomplishment for her, and we’re really excited.”
Littleford was taken out of the game late in the third quarter with Charleston ahead, 55-27, finishing with 27 points on the night. The Trojans would cruise to a 55-35 victory over Taylorville, remaining undefeated at 11-0.
A bright future is in the cards for Littleford, as she will head to UT-Martin in the fall to play for the Skyhawks, who compete in the Ohio Valley Conference against Eastern Illinois.
“She’s a true point guard,” Jim Littleford said. “She’ll fit in well with the system down there.”
CHARLESTON – Scoring: Littleford 27, Buescher 8, Triplett 8, Blase 12. Rebounds: Triplett 9, Blase 6. Steals: Blase 6, Littleford 5, Triplett 4.