Manheim Central's Maddie Knier drives to the bucket as Twin Valley’s Natalie Foster, left, and Anna Kaplan defend in the second half of a nonleague girls basketball game at Doe Run Elementary School in Manheim on Monday, Dec.13, 2021.

MYERSTOWN — Have a night, Maddie Knier.

Manheim Central’s junior standout did a little bit of everything Friday night, and they all added up to a milestone momentum, a couple of clutch shots, and a victory for the Barons.

First, the milestone moment.

Knier came into Friday’s L-L League crossover tilt needing just 3 points to join the 1,000-point club, and she took care of that early in the first quarter when she split the key for a runner in the lane to become the sixth girls player in the history of Central’s program to hit a grand.

Later, Knier beat the halftime horn and then the third-quarter buzzer with buckets and she finished with 30 points and nine rebounds in Central’s 65-42 win over the host Raiders.

“It means so much, and it’s such a great milestone to be in there with so many great players,” said Knier, who hit the mark 10 games into her junior year. “To get to score 1,000 points and be one of them is just awesome.”

Elco hung tough early on, with Kailey Eckhart and Abigail Sargent hitting big first-quarter shots to keep the Raiders close. But Knier’s 1,000-point bucket buoyed the Barons, who put their collective feet down in the second quarter.

Eckhart, who scored all of her team-best 11 points in the first half, polished off a conventional three-point play and Elco had an 18-17 lead midway through the second quarter. Central countered with a punishing 14-0 blitz for a 31-18 lead.

Rachel Nolt, who scored 16 points, gave the Barons the lead for good, 19-18, and she added two more buckets during the spree, including a jumper for a 30-18 cushion. Knier had six points during the spurt, and her horn-beating jumper gave Central a cozy 33-22 lead at the half.

The Barons put the pedal to the metal in the third; Summer Bates had a steal and a transition layup, Nolt bottomed out a pair of 3-pointers, Abbie Reed’s basket ballooned Central’s lead to 20, and Knier pulled up and buried a deep trey at the buzzer and the Barons were up 53-32.  

“That’s Maddie,” Central coach Tyson Hayes said, shrugging. “It’s 1,000 points, and that’s a tribute to Maddie’s hard work, but it’s also a tribute to our entire team. And our team is starting to get really good, and they have a chance to do some things.”

Central (5-0 league, 8-2) maintained its cozy lead in the Section 3 race, and is in the thick of the District 3 Class 5A playoff chase. Elco (2-3, 5-8) slipped another game behind Lancaster Catholic in the Section 4 hunt.

“We’re looking big-picture now,” Knier said. “We want to put a date on our banner.”

As for the 1,000 points …

“It’s a bit of a relief because it’s been hanging over my head,” Knier said. “But the pressure is off me now.”

Elco coach Ashli Shay knows a thing or two about milestone scoring marks; she finished her prep career with 2,169 points for the Raiders, good for No. 6 in league history. She had a front-row seat for Knier’s 1,000th point Friday as the league’s grand club opened its doors.

“It’s impressive all the way around,” Shay said. “And the fact that she’s a junior … she’s tough. She’s played a lot of minutes in a lot of games and she always plays so hard. She’s added something to her game every year, and she can do a little bit of everything. It’s nice to see how she’s progressed over the years.”

TWITTER: @JeffReinhart77

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