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Standout players close in on 2,000

When Samantha Baldwin reached the 1,000-point mark in her basketball career at Drayton-St. Thomas during the 2005-06 season, her aunt had some good-natured teasing for her.

When Samantha Baldwin reached the 1,000-point mark in her basketball career at Drayton-St. Thomas during the 2005-06 season, her aunt had some good-natured teasing for her.

"When Sam made her 1,000th, I told her she still had a little way to go to catch me," said Laurie Sieben, Baldwin's aunt and the coach of rival Grafton.

Well, Laurie Sieben is out as the girls basketball career scoring leader at St. Thomas. Likewise, Kenley Wahlin is out as Crookston High School's basketball career scoring leader.

But their records are still all in the family.

Baldwin, a junior at St. Thomas, passed Sieben and her 1,570 points - which she scored when St. Thomas co-oped with Valley - during the Region 2 basketball tournament. Baldwin finished this season with 1,613 points.


And junior Kamille Wahlin is at 1,660 points. In February, she surpassed the school career points record of 1,438, which was held by brother Kenley.

Baldwin wasn't aware that she had surpassed her aunt's point total. "I'll have to give her some grief about it," she said.

Said Wahlin: "It was Kenley's record. We teased each other about it (as Kamille closed in on the mark). But it was all in fun. Records are records. To me, the team things are more important than individual records."

Said Baldwin: "I'm not that into points. (The record) isn't as important to me as how our team does."

Similar types

Both juniors have a team-first attitude. Both led their teams to successful seasons this winter - Crookston finished 24-3 and was runner-up in Minnesota's Section 8AA, while Drayton-St. Thomas was 18-6 and fourth in North Dakota's Region 2.

And both players make contributions far beyond just what a scorebook shows.

Baldwin paced the Blue Knights with averages of 20.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 3.2 steals. Wahlin led the Pirates with averages of 19.9 points, 5.4 assists and 3.8 steals.


"This year, Sam was more of a playmaker for us," said Brent Baldwin, the Drayton-St. Thomas coach and Samantha Baldwin's father. "We had to remind her a few times that we needed her to score, too. She's the type of player who makes things happen off the dribble. She'll get in the lane, get her shot off or dish. And she's become a better outside shooter."

Wahlin holds Crookston career records for assists (489) and 3-point baskets (137).

"Kamille's strength is the mid-range game," Pirates coach Kris Evje said. "She can stop on a dime, pulling up off the dribble and she's deadly from 10 to 15 feet. She isn't a score-first type of player. She creates shots, whether it's for her teammates or herself. She's a playmaker."

The two have one other similarity - neither, according to their coaches, has ever asked about how many points they've scored, be it game, season or career.

"Sam probably doesn't know how many points she's scored," Brent Baldwin said. "She's never said anything to me about points. She focuses on other things."

Approaching 2,000

Samantha Baldwin and Wahlin are on pace to join some exclusive company.

Baldwin's 483 points this season left her 387 points shy of 2,000 for her career. According to the 2006-07 Miss Hoopster, the North Dakota basketball preview book, only 19 Class B girls basketball players have reached the 2,000 mark for their careers entering this past season.


Walhlin had 536 points this season and needs 340 to reach 2,000. According to Minnesota state basketball records listed on the Web site Info-Link.net , only 60 Minnesota girls basketball players have scored 2,000 points.

"It would be a nice accomplishment," Samantha Baldwin said of 2,000 points. "But it wouldn't bother me if I didn't get it. The team is more important than any personal goals."

Wahlin agrees. "I don't think about points and breaking records. Those are milestones, but I don't put a lot of thought into them. I just like to play basketball."

Reach DeVillers at (800) 477-6572, ext. 128, (701) 780-1128 or by e-mail at gdevillers@gfherald.com .

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