Eric Emmerling's NH College Notebook: Leighton reaches 1,000-point collegiate plateau at St. Anselm
CURRAN LEIGHTON was released from the hospital at 8 a.m. on the day she netted the 1,000th point of her college basketball career.
"I went to the emergency room at 3 a.m. with a kidney stone," said Leighton, a senior and small forward for St. Anselm College. "I played in pain because I had so many family members in attendance at the game. I took some aspirin and celebrated with them after the game."
The all-time leading Dover High School career scorer (1,212 points) has always possessed a reputation of consistent, tough and determined play. Her father, Scott Leighton, also tallied over 1,200 points at Dover, becoming the boys' all-time scoring leader in 1981.
Curran achieved the collegiate scoring milestone while coming off the bench to sink two of three field goal attempts in 15 minutes of play during last Saturday's loss to Assumption College at Worcester, Mass. Playing pain free in her next outing, Leighton netted 14 points, including two treys, during a Wednesday night road loss as the Hawks record dropped to 4-12.
"Scoring 1,000 points was never a goal in college, unlike high school," said Leighton. "I really didn't know my potential coming out of high school. I ended up doing better than I thought."
As a freshman at the University of Southern Maine, Leighton picked up five different Rookie of the Year honors while leading the Huskies in scoring (16.4 points a game), rebounding (8.9) and blocked shots (1.8). The Huskies advanced to NCAA Division III National Championship tournament
Battling homesickness and a yearning to compete at the Division II level, Leighton discovered a better financial and academic fit at St. Anselm College. Courtside, the 5-foot-9 criminal justice major assumed a role coming off the bench, consistently averaging about eight points and five rebounds a game the past three seasons.
She transferred as a forward but transitioned into the small forward post as a result of her long distance shot. Thus far this season Leighton's hit a team-high tally of 17 3-pointers.
"I've taken on different roles on the team. My aunts and uncles said college would be the best four years of my lift because you completely find out who you are, and they were so right. I learned so much about myself as a student and as an athlete," said Leighton, who intends to pursue a Master's Degree in nursing upon graduation this spring.
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OTHER HIGH CAREER scorers include Alex Hall, a University of Hartford senior from Pembroke. The senior guard has 731 career points and counting. Franklin Pierce University forward Amanda Saab of Windham (Salem High) has scored 545 points in four seasons.
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HOT HANDS: Tom Poitras has averaged 22 points in the low post spot that past four games. The 6-foot-5 Rivier University junior from Bow leads the team in scoring at 15.6 points an outing while also contributing 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.
Mike Stys of Hooksett (Central) recently experienced a three-game stretch during which he hit the game-winning shot, scored a career-high 20 points another night and knocked down two treys and made four assists in another Penmen win. The 6-foot-1 junior ranks third on the team, scoring 11.9 points a game.
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NEW ENGLAND COLLEGIATE CONFERENCE Women's Basketball Rookie of the Week: Daniel Webster College guard Ashley Giampetruzzi of Manchester (Central) earned this honor after averaging 18.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in a three-game stretch. In her next outing after securing the honor, the freshman recorded a double-double (11 points, 10 boards) in a win over Becker College.
MAKING WAVES: Brianna Laliberte of Candia earned the Little East Conference rookie swimmer of the week with a pair of back-to-back first place finishes in the 100 backstroke. The Manchester Central grad posted times of 1 minute 02.62 seconds and 1:02.77.
A trio of Granite State swimmers is making a splash with the Worcester Polytechnic Institute team. Manchester's Aimee St. Germain (Trinity) posted seventh place finishes in the 1,000 yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke at a Thursday meet. Pinkerton of Derry graduates Joon-Ho Lee of Hampstead and Tyler Faszewski of Hooksett placed at last weekend's Worcester City Championships. Lee, a junior, finished third in the 1,650 freestyle and 800 freestyle relay while classmate Faszewski took sixth in the 1650 freestyle.
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RUNNING AWAY: Freshman Alyssa Lambert of Manchester (Salem) won the 1,000 meter race while junior Atoine Gisore of Concord finished first in both the 600 and 3,000 meter races helping Franklin Pierce indoor track team to win last Saturday's Wesleyan Invitational III.
Eric Emmerling's weekly New Hampshire College Notebook appears weekly in the New Hampshire Sunday News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.