By JIM GRIES
Herald sports editor
To realize how far Oskaloosa senior Kena Veldhuizen has come in three years, just look at her scoring average during the past four years.
Veldhuizen, a 5-foot-4 guard, averaged a mere 7.1 points a game as a freshman, and has seen that average go up each year. She raised it to 11.9 as a sophomore, 13.5 as a junior and now in her final prep season, she’s pouring in 18.9 points per contest coming in No. 15 Oskaloosa’s Tuesday night’s game at Knoxville.
The speedy Veldhuizen reached quite a milestone Friday night against Pella when she became just the second Oskaloosa girls player to top the 1,000-point mark when she hit a 3-pointer from the left corner in the fourth quarter.
The game was stopped momentarily to recognize the accomplishment as Oskaloosa head coach Steve Kaisand presented her with a commemorative ball and Veldhuizen was stunned.
She put her head into her hands and was visibly moved by the moment.
“I had no idea, I didn’t know what was going on,” Veldhuizen said. “The only person on the team who knew was Allie Christenson because her mom (assistant coach Carolyn Pederson) had told her.
“I was in shock. I was told about two weeks ago that I was at 800 points, but I had gotten that close.”
The next mark she’ll be shooting for is Brittney Carlson’s school record of 1,157 points she compiled from 2003-2006. Veldhuizen has 1,029 points so far and has six more games plus tournament games to eclipse that mark.
She said getting against an arch-rival like Pella did make the milestone sweeter, but was disappointed the Indians lost the double-overtime game to the lady Dutch.
“It’s a good accomplishment,” Veldhuizen said. “Since I’ve been on the team for four years I feel like it was a little bit easier than if you’ve been on it for just three years. Either way, it’s a pretty big accomplishment so I’ll recognize it as that.”
One game that she didn’t have a lot of points, but still ranks as he most memorable one.
Last year at Pella, the Indians won in overtime 38-36 as Veldhuizen only had nine points in the contest.
“We beat them by two in overtime and it was pretty emotional,” she said. “We all crying and it the first time we had beaten Pella in a long time. So it was a pretty memorable game.”