3,000! Halley Busse becomes 17th player in girls’ state history to surpass 3,000 career points in GFW’s 84-72 win vs. TCU

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop’s Halley Busse takes a shot between three Tri-City United defenders Saturday in Winthrop. Busse surpassed 3,000 career points in the second half of the game.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop’s Halley Busse takes a shot between three Tri-City United defenders Saturday in Winthrop. Busse surpassed 3,000 career points in the second half of the game. For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com

WINTHROP — When Halley Busse hit the first of two free throws with 5:37 remaining, she figured she finally hit it — the raucous cheering gave it away.

Then she could finally breathe.

Busse surpassed the 3,000-point mark for her career with her game-high 36 points on Saturday in Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop’s 84-72 win against Tri-City United. She is just the 17th player in state girls’ basketball history to surpass 3,000 points.

“To consider all the girls who have played basketball, for only 17 to accomplish that or reach that, that’s a pretty unique, pretty special deal,” GFW coach Ryan Jacobson said.

In her six years on varsity, Busse has played with 39 different teammates. Without them, Busse said she would not have reached this point.

“Credit to all my teammates for getting me this far,” Busse said. “This is my sixth year now, so I’ve played with a lot of different girls. Thank you to them, thank you to all of the coaches who have been along with me for this ride. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Busse’s performance helped the Thunderbirds (15-7) win their 10th-straight game — a streak that dates back to an eight-point win against Minnesota Valley Lutheran on Jan. 17. Fellow seniors Emily Heimkes and Emma Jo Elder had 14 and 13 points to help the Thunderbirds to the win as well.

Senior Joslyn Vargo paced the Titans (17-7) with 34 points on 11-for-27 shooting, while junior Gabby Robinson had 18 points with four consecutive field goals to begin the game.

The Thunderbirds pulled away from a 20-20 tie in the first half with 3s from Elder and Miah Busse as well as a putback by Halley Busse. This started a 14-5 run that sent both teams into the locker room.

Having needed 24 points to reach the milestone heading into Saturday, Busse had a quiet first half, during which she scored just nine points on 3-of-15 shooting.

Of course, there was pressure. Busse did her best to not think about it.

“I had no idea where I was, during the game,” Busse said of how close she was to the milestone.

In the second half, the Thunderbirds flipped the switch and shot 55 percent (16-of-29) from the floor, making free throws when they needed them. Busse made 9-of-10 free throws down the stretch to put the game away.

“Toward the end of the second half, I called her over and said, ‘Let’s just enjoy this, let’s just have fun,'” Jacobson said. “Senior year, we’re only going to get to run out here and do this a few more times. Just relax, play with a smile and enjoy it.”

And enjoy it, she did.

TCU 25 47 — 72

GFW 34 50 — 84

TRI-CITY UNITED (72)

Robinson 8-13 2-4 18, J Vargo 11-27 6-9 34, Jindra 0-4 0-0 0, Hellerud 2-5 1-3 5, Dull 1-12 2-4 5, Ellingsworth 2-5 0-0 5, Trnka 1-4 3-4 5, C Vargo 0-2 0-0 0.

GFW (84)

H Busse 9-27 15-16 36, E Elder 5-6 1-1 13, Heimkes 6-13 2-2 14, M Busse 3-5 1-2 9, Firle 2-6 0-0 4, M Elder 3-9 2-4 8.

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