Casey Santoro and her parents when she visited Kent State on a recruiting trip last season. (Photo is from family’s Twitter feed.)
Kent State recruit Casey Santoro scored her 2,000th point for Bellevue High School last week.
She was playing in front of KSU coach Todd Starkey in her home gym and is the second player in school history to score 2,000. The first was her sister, Carly, who started for Bowling Green as an undergrad and at Ohio State as a graduate student. Another sister, Cory, is her team’s second-leading scorer. Her father, Kory, is her coach.
Casey Santoro is a 5-4 guard. She’s averaging 25 points a game this season and was district player of the year and first-team all-state both her sophomore and junior years. She once hit 10 three-point shots in a game. Her team is 18-0 and ranked third in Ohio’s Division II. She scored 28 more points Saturday and now has 2,033.
I don’t think Kent State has ever had a 2,000-point recruit before. Current sophomore Hannah Young came just about as close as possible in four years at Brookville High School in Virginia. She scored 1,998.
So glad I was there to see you score #2,000 Casey! Can’t wait to be your Coach! The future is bright https://t.co/21d44kiOE5
— Todd Starkey (@ToddStarkey33) January 29, 2020
Here’s how Brian Kola’s of the Sandusky Register reported it (you can see all of it in the 90-second video):
“(Santoro) scored the milestone basket midway through the third quarter, doing what she does so well with the basketball — improvising.
“Santoro drove from the right wing, stopped, rocked back on her left foot and used her left hand to convert a short shot over taller opponents from about five feet away from the hoop.
“The clock stopped at the 3:58 mark and the game was stopped. Santoro hugged her teammates before walking to the bench to hug her dad. She then walked across the court to hug her family and acknowledge Kent State coach Todd Starkey, who will be her coach next season.
“The basket that put her at 2,000 also gave the Lady Red a 51-24 lead that would swell to as many 30 in the fourth quarter.
“ ‘My coach kept calling plays for me. I just wanted it to happen,‘ she said. ‘I knew I could take her off the dribble and that’s what happened, I guess. I’m very relieved.’ ”
“Kory Santoro was glad to see his daughter make history. Casey joined her older sister Carly (2,387) in Bellevue’s 2,000-point club on a night when the Lady Red honored the memory of the late Koby Bryant by wearing Lakers T-shirts and jerseys during warmups.
“ ‘Believe it or not, that’s a shot she actually practices,’ he said. ‘Maybe not so dramatic, but she does use that left-handed fadeaway runner, whatever you want to call it, quite a bit.
“ ‘Casey’s a gamer. She knew she’d get it tonight or Friday. The most important thing, she knew, was, “Let’s get the W.” If it happens, it happens. I thought she played amazing tonight.’ ”
Casey scored 10 points in the first quarter to start strong. She added five in the second quarter before scoring on a steal and layup 45 seconds into the second half. That put her at 1,998, which is where things got choppy.
“With the large crowd ready to erupt, Casey missed two shots as both teams struggled on offense. There was a long delay to clean up some blood after Brynn Vogel took a shot to the nose on a drive to the basket. Then came the basket that took Casey to 2,000.
“It feels great to know it’s out of the way now,” she said. “I told myself I was focused on winning. I knew it’d happen eventually, so I guess I just let it come to me.”
“Casey’s sister, junior guard Cory Santoro, had a strong game with 16 points and nine rebounds as the Lady Red shot a solid 50 percent from the field and outrebounded the taller Irish 31-22.”
“Afterward, Casey did a radio interview, posed for photos and thanked well-wishers. Her mom, Betsy, even brought out some cupcakes.
“ ‘It feels good that everyone who supports me is here,” she said. “A lot of people to talk to.’ ”