Senior Point Guard Kerri Moran shattered Oak Knoll’s all-time scoring record in basketball Tuesday afternoon at crosstown rival Kent Place.
After scoring 18 points against Brearley on Monday — a 54-26 victory for the Royals — #20 Moran was just shy of breaking the 1,357-point record by 11 points. Moran made a lay up early in the third quarter to break the record. She later scored two additional points, setting the record even higher at 1,370 points. The Royals topped Kent Place, 59-15.
“It’s really exciting and I never thought I was going to do it. Coming in as a freshman at Oak Knoll, I never thought I would be able to score a thousand points, let alone break the school record,” said Moran, who will play basketball at Cornell University this fall and major in business. “I wasn't even aware I was going to break the school record until about a week ago. I'm very excited, especially because the player that holds the current record is my assistant coach, Katie Cummings. Katie has been a great addition to our team. I like her intensity and love for the game.”
Cummings, who set the former 1,357-point record in 2003 while she was a senior at Oak Knoll, said she’s pleased Moran was able to break it.
“It’s awesome. Kerri has been such a pleasure to coach and I know she’s going to do so many great things at the next level. She works so hard and she’s just such a great competitor and leader so it was great to see her do it,” Cummings said. “Records are made to be broken and to be able say it’s somebody going to Cornell, I’m so happy for her.”
Kerri, a 4-year Varsity starter, currently leads the team in scoring, assists, steals, and rebounds, said Head Coach John Bertollo. She is in the top 10 in scoring and rebounds in Union County, and leads Union County in assists and steals per game.
"Kerri is the heart and soul of the team. She is an exceptional leader on and off the court," Bertollo said. "The thing that makes Kerri special is on any given night, she can score 15-20 points, but she also does an incredible job by getting her teammates involved, which is why she leads the county in assists. She is the most unselfish thousand point scorer I have seen play."
According to an Oak Knoll press release, Moran became the sixth player and the only junior in school history to score 1,000 career points on February 21, 2012.
Moran’s love for basketball began at a young age.
The 17-year-old said she’s been playing basketball for as long as she can remember and started playing on a team while in second grade.
“My parents tell me that I was dying to play at an even younger age after watching my two older siblings play. They knew I would love basketball right from the beginning,” Moran said. “I am one of five kids and come from a very athletic family; we all love to play sports and compete.”
Moran, whose favorite subject is Biology, said her father has been the most instrumental part of her basketball career.
“From the beginning, he has taught me everything he knows and I've always looked at him as a role model and a true leader,” Moran told Patch. “Through basketball, my dad not only taught me how to play, but also how to be a better person. Something he always told me is, 'Basketball teaches you life lessons that will help you years after your basketball career is over.’ My dad and I have a little ritual where he sends me a text before the game, pumping me up and giving me tips on how to approach the game.”
Moran said Coach Bertollo and former Head Coach Tony Cofone were also instrumental in her successful career at Oak Knoll and in breaking the school record.
After defeating Kent Place, the Royals are now 17-3 this season. The team will host Cranford on Thursday, and begin their run in the Union County Tournament next Monday.
Moran said the possibilities are endless for the rest of the season and she’s excited to see how it plays out.
“There is so much potential on my team and I really think if we play hard, we can do something special,” she said. “The states, I think we’re ranked 2nd so we should have some easy games in the beginning. I think we could do really well in states. And counties, it’s wide open right now.”