Purdue head coach Kristy Curry was on hand to watch Jodi Howell take another step into Alexandria high school history on Tuesday.
With 6:01 remaining in the Alexandria/Eastern game, Jodi Howell connected on a reverse layup to move past Jaqueline Closser on the Alexandria Lady Tiger all-time career points list. Closser, a 2003 Indiana All Star and current point guard for Butler University, ended her high school career with 1,590 points.
By the end of the game, the new mark stood at 1,603 points, as Howell led all scorers with 38 points.
But for the team, it was a 59-54 loss to Eastern (Howard). What encouraged the coaching staff was the emergence of several freshmen players, which increased the speed of the offense and helped Alexandria keep the game close.
Alexandria head coach Jon Howell has dressed 15 players this year, and is still searching for consistency.
The first half of the eastern game netted only 18 points, 13 of which came from Howell. Inconsistent shooting and wide-open misses plagued the team.
Coach Howell called the first four minutes of the third quarter as bad as he has seen, as Eastern ran out to a 23 point lead off Alexandria's unforced turnovers and lackluster defensive effort. At that point, coach Howell inserted four freshmen into the game along side Jodi. Alexandria scored ten points in the final three minutes of the third to reduce the deficit to 19.
The momentum carried into the fourth quarter as the Tigers clawed their way back into the game behind Howell's 17 fourth quarter points. Alexandria outscored Eastern 26-12 in the final quarter to pull within four with 50 seconds remaining. A missed breakaway layup stalled the drive, leading to the final margin of victory for Eastern.
What encouraged the coaching staff was the speed and hustle of the freshmen that sparked the team in the third. Plus Alexandria's fourth quarter press and good hands led to easy points off Eastern turnovers.
Jodi Howell also had seven rebounds and five steals in the game.