Blankenship 1,000

Washougal Panther sets precedence for points, rebounds and steals

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Only three girls basketball players in Washougal High School history scored more than 1,000 points.

Kim Rink racked up 1,169 points between 1979 and 1983. That stood as the all-time record for more than 20 years, until Krissy Bassett finished her four-year career with 1,351 points in 2006.

On Friday, Alyssa Blankenship joined this elite company. The 5-foot-6 shooting guard is up to 1,036 points and counting.

“Since it’s my senior year, I wanted to leave a mark at Washougal,” Blankenship said. “I’m one of those girls who will go down in the record books.”

Head coach Brian Oberg said Blankenship is also one of the all-time leaders in rebounds, steals and assists at Washougal.

“I’ve coached Alyssa since the fifth grade. She went from a kid who couldn’t keep her shoes on, because her feet were too hot, to one of the hottest scorers in the region,” Oberg said. “To see her reach that milestone, and the company she is with, it means the world to her and it means the world to me.”

Teammate RaeAnn Allen has also been a productive scorer, rebounder and passer for the Panthers. In four years together, Allen and Blankenship led the team to 50 victories.

“It’s a special tandem,” Oberg said. “These two girls are going to have a lot to celebrate before their careers are all said and done.”

The Washougal community honored Blankenship before Monday’s home game against R.A. Long. She received a sweatshirt that says 1,000 points, and a basketball signed by her teammates and coaches.

“It made me even more excited for the game,” Blankenship said.

She then scored 31 points, picked 13 steals and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Panthers to a 63-47 victory.

“I just knew they weren’t going to let us beat them easy,” she said. “I needed to have a good game for us to win.”

Washougal (7-1) and Mark Morris (7-1) are tied for first place in the 2A Greater St. Helens League. The Panthers head to Woodland Thursday, host Hockinson Monday and Mark Morris Thursday, Feb. 4.

“We have to want first place. It’s not going to be handed to us,” Blankenship said. “Mark Morris is the test, but we can’t take Woodland, Hockinson or Ridgefield for granted. We have to play every game like it’s our last.”

Blankenship thanked her friends, family, fans, mentors and rivals for bringing out the best in her on the basketball court.

“I want to thank all the coaches I’ve had, and all my teammates for getting me there,” she said. “And a big shout out to my dad. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.”

Oberg hopes Blankenship and her teammates will be rewarded for all their hard work.

“We would love to hang a banner in here, but our ultimate goal is to do the most damage at districts. That’s when it counts,” he said. “Let’s have a playoff game here, get the fans and community out, and show that Panther pride.”