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Taylor Stephens joins Taylor Mills in 1,000-point club at La Center

Stephens and Mills, the two Taylors, reach milestones this season

LA CENTER — Tremendous talent triumphs together.

The two Taylors, now with more than two thousand points between them.

Taylor Stephens scored her 1,000th career point Thursday night, helping La Center to a 60-21 victory over White Salmon in a Trico League girls basketball game.

Taylor Stephens and Taylor Mills (22) both hit the 1,000-point mark in their careers this season for the La Center Wildcats. Stephens, a junior, got to 1,000 in Thursday’s win over White Salmon. Mills, a senior, got to 1,000 last month. Photo by Paul Valencia
Taylor Stephens and Taylor Mills (22) both hit the 1,000-point mark in their careers this season for the La Center Wildcats. Stephens, a junior, got to 1,000 in Thursday’s win over White Salmon. Mills, a senior, got to 1,000 last month. Photo by Paul Valencia

Stephens, a junior, joined her teammate, Taylor Mills, who hit the 1,000-point mark earlier this season.

Stephens needed 11 points to hit the magic number Thursday. The school was ready. The crowd was ready. Stephens was ready, too.

“I probably would have cried,” she said, thinking about the possibility of having an off night and not getting to 11.

Instead, she made it to 1,000 before the end of the first quarter.

“The last three games, we’ve been kind of off,” Stephens said. “Personally, I didn’t play well in the last three games. We’re all getting over being sick.”

She walked into the home gym this night with a fresh attitude.

“I’m getting my thousand points tonight. I need to get aggressive and get this thing in the first quarter,” she said. “I’m going to get it going, and we’re going to keep it going and roll with it. That’s what we did.”

The Wildcats could not roll with it immediately. A timeout was called for a short ceremony. There were blue balloons that, close together, spelled out 1,000. Stephens received a commemorative basketball.

“To bring that ball to my dad and watch him cry, that was too much,” Stephens said.

La Center junior Taylor Stephens (left) got to 1,000 points in her career Thursday night. The home crowd celebrated with a short ceremony. The home crowd did the same last month for Taylor Mills, when she hit the same milestone. The two Taylors have more than 2,000 points between them for the Wildcats. Photo by Paul Valencia
La Center junior Taylor Stephens (left) got to 1,000 points in her career Thursday night. The home crowd celebrated with a short ceremony. The home crowd did the same last month for Taylor Mills, when she hit the same milestone. The two Taylors have more than 2,000 points between them for the Wildcats. Photo by Paul Valencia

Mills could appreciate that moment.

“I know it’s a big accomplishment for her. She’s wanted it forever. She’s worked for it,” Mills said. “She has a whole ‘nother year. That’s crazy. She’ll be scoring a whole lot more.”

Mills, a senior, made it 1,000 for her career a month ago in a win over Washougal.

“It was super cool because everyone was super supportive,” Mills said. “They all knew when I hit it. They cheered so loud.”

That, too, was a La Center home game so there was a timeout for the home crowd to give her a salute.

“I didn’t get the balloons, though,” she said with a smile. “I did get the basketball. That’s all that matters.”

All of the Wildcats, not just the two Taylors, understand the significance of individual achievements. They know those things go toward the bigger goal, of team accomplishments. La Center is No. 5 in Class 1A girls basketball RPI rankings.

The Wildcats also know this is their window. The team has six seniors, four of them are starters along with Stephens, the junior.

“Our chemistry, team-wise, our friendships, they are way, way better this year,” Stephens said. “That will help us when we’re at state. We’re playing together.”

Recording milestones together and making memories together, too.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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