Taylor Boucher is about as humble as they come.
Needing 23 points to eclipse the 1,000-point milestone for her career was the furthest thing from the Fort Kent senior forward’s mind heading into the Warriors’ regular-season finale against Presque Isle.
Boucher did reach the milestone, pumping in 27 points to give her 1,004 heading into tonight’s Eastern Maine Class C preliminary game against Stearns in Millinocket at 6.
The Warriors, who lost to Presque Isle Friday night 59-53, enter the tournament as the No. 9 seed in Eastern Maine.
Boucher’s success has not come easy, as she missed 15 games last year with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. She joins recent Fort Kent standouts Emily Pelletier and Marissa Albert in the 1,000-point club.
But unlike her predecessors, Boucher had fewer games to achieve the milestone.
“She only got to play five games last year, and we played 20,” said Fort Kent coach Travis Delisle. “When she went out last year she was averaging 22 points per game.”
Even though Boucher grew closer and closer to 1,000 points, she never once asked Delisle how many more points she needed.
“Never at any point she knew how far away she was, she didn’t want to know, which I really liked,” he said.
As the Warriors’ top offensive threat, opponents have thrown junk defenses at Fort Kent, but that didn’t prevent the Warriors from posting an 11-7 record. That includes two wins over Class B Caribou and one over Central of Corinth, the No. 2 team in Class C.
“It’s been pretty frustrating, but you’ve got to deal with it,” Boucher said. “Every game I’ve had a box-and-one on me.”
Boucher, who helped lead Fort Kent into the regional championship game in soccer, said her knee is feeling a lot stronger compared to in August, when she returned to the field.
“100 times better,” she said. “Soccer, I was more nervous but now it’s gotten stronger. I don’t think about it anymore.”
The 5-foot-7 Boucher is a versatile player.
“She’s a very talented player, she can score inside, outside, off the dribble, and she handles the ball under pressure,” Delisle said.
With the scoring milestone aside, Boucher’s main focus is helping lead the Warriors back to the Bangor Auditorium.
“I didn’t really think about my 1,000th, I didn’t play last year when we went to the tourney, I was really disappointed,” she said. “I’m kind of anxious and excited to see what happens.”
Playing close games against teams like Presque Isle, the top-ranked team in Class B, while beating a strong team like Central gives the Warriors plenty of hope.
“We definitely have gained a lot more confidence,” Boucher said. “I think we’re one of the stronger 7-8-9 teams going into the tournament. I think we could make a lot of noise. We‘ll see what happens.”
Fort Kent, also led by Sam Carapellucci, Liz Morneault and Brianna Thibodeau, will be facing a Stearns club that plays a contrasting style.
Delisle’s club likes to get the ball up and down the floor while the Minutemen, led by Kirsten Marter and Becca Leavitt, like to slow the tempo a bit.
“[Against] Presque Isle we did very well on using the second pass to get up the court,” Boucher said. “I remember playing them last year, they’re pretty fast too.”
Even though Foxcroft and Central have established themselves as the tournament threats, Delisle knows that anything is possible.
“I definitely think it could go to anybody,” he said. “When you look at the lineup 1 through 10, you have some teams that are going to be some tough outs for anybody and on any given night can win. I won’t be surprised if a Washington Academy or an Orono pull some upsets.”
In Boucher’s freshman year, the Warriors upset Houlton in the quarterfinal round.
“Right now, it’s still very competitive to get there,” she said.
Sanderson reaches 1,000
Boucher wasn’t the only Class C hoop standout to eclipse the 1,000-point pinnacle last week.
Houlton senior Vanessa Sanderson also achieved the milestone in the Shiretowners’ season-ending victory over rival Hogdgon on Friday.
Sanderson becomes the eighth player in the history of the Houlton girls program to net 1,000 points, joining Lisa Collett, Carol Bubar, Mary Harrigan, Diane Nagle, Liz Neson, Hannah Socoby, and Rachel Foster.
That same night, Houlton hosted its second annual “Play it Pink” game, in which both the Shiretowners and Hawks, along with the Houlton band and cheerleaders, wore pink to raise awareness for breast cancer.
Houlton enters regional tournament play as the No. 4 seed, and will take on No. 5 Washington Academy on Feb. 17.