By Jack Blessington and Lexi Nelson
On Friday, the Newton South girls’ basketball team beat Lincoln-Sudbury 66-44, as junior guard and co-captain Veronica Burton scored her 1000th career point to etch her name into the Newton South history books.
Despite finding out right before the game that they would be playing in Gym B instead of the field house, as well as the loss of key starter and senior Brooke Baker to a torn ACL, the Lions came out prepared and earned their eighth win of the season.
Senior forward and co-captain Zoe Foster contributed with key shots, while senior guard Sarah King knocked down crucial baskets to secure a Newton South victory.
“[Those shots kept] us ahead which allowed the momentum to stay on our side,” Burton said.
However, the biggest moment of the game was four minutes into the first quarter when Burton got a pass from Foster, faked left, went through her legs back right, took a step back, and sank a deep three pointer for her 1000th career point.
Going into the game Burton had 993 points, needing only seven more to reach 1000.
“It was definitely a relief to get it over with in the first quarter because going into the game I was pretty nervous” Burton said. She would finish the night with 25 points, 9 assists, 9 rebounds, and four steals.
Going into halftime, South led Lincoln Sudbury 33-24. The score grew closer in the third quarter, as the Warriors became more aggressive and pushed the ball up the court.
“I think we got ahead of ourselves and began to underestimate [Lincoln-Sudbury],” sophomore Frankie Silva said. “But we really stepped it up towards the end and finished strong.”
The win puts the Lions at 8-2 overall, which is good enough for the number eight ranking in the state, according to The Boston Globe.
Burton has been a huge asset to the team throughout her three high school seasons. As a freshman, she stepped into a starting role and has remained instrumental to the team ever since. She and Emily Chang, who is now a freshman playing for Williams College, became a dynamic duo when Burton was a freshman and Chang was a junior.
The following year they led the Lions to a DCL championship and were arguably the best backcourt in Massachusetts as Burton won DCL MVP, an impressive feat for anyone, but especially as an underclassmen.
This year, Burton has averaged 19.9 points, 5.4 assists, and 9.8 rebounds across the first ten games. She was named one of the four team captains for her leadership both on and off the court, something her teammates never fail to notice.
“She brings out the best in each player,” sophomore Sydney Brooks said. “She carries the team and is always a step ahead.”
Newton South athletic director, Patricia Gonzalez, says Burton is very committed to her sport and works all year long to improve.
“Each day, she prepares to get better,” said Gonzalez.
Burton has been part of the Bay State Jaguars, an elite travel basketball program, which prepares athletes to play at the collegiate level.
Her hard work, talent, and determination has attracted offers from top colleges across the country: including the University of Minnesota, Brown University, Holy Cross, Elon University, Sacred Heart University, Quinnipiac University, and Fairfield University.
“I do hope and plan to continue playing after high school. I have a few offers but I am keeping my options open for now,” Burton said.
The Lions’ look poised for another strong season under leadership from Burton and seniors Foster, King and Ali Nislick.
Burton added, “Obviously we want to do well basketball wise, hopefully win the DCL, and go further in the tournament than we have in the previous years as well, but I’d say our main goal is to look back and recognize how much fun we had.”