By Thomas Sellers Jr.
MEMPHIS — In soccer circles, the name Malinda Allen is well-known.
She has won championships and several awards earning a scholarship to Duke University. But on Jan. 4 the Westminster forward made news for her game on the hardwood. Allen scored 62 points on the Westminster Academy Gymnasium floor against Central Baptist.
The outburst by the 6-foot forward set a school record and started a win streak for the Lady Defenders The streak improved to four games last Thursday night when Westminster beat the Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels 58-32.
“We’ve played four games since Friday including today,” Allen noted. “So we’ve had a lot of games but it feels good to keep the wins coming through the fatigue.”
The Lady Defenders might have been tired not tallying more points against the Lady Rebels than Allen did against Central Baptist.
“It was a goal of mine to break 50,” Allen acknowledged. “And I thought I was close to it last year. To get 62 is an incredible accomplishment. I feel really stoked to do that. I have to thank all my teammates for all the passes they gave me and my coaches for giving me a chance to make the shots.”
Allen hit her share of shots against TRA scoring 32 points. Westminster was ahead 11-5 after one quarter. Then the Lady Defenders’ lead reached double-figures in the second quarter when Allen hit a jumper to make the score 19-9.
Moments later the girl wearing the No. 22 jersey raced down the court and used a spin move to hit a bucket making the score 23-9. The Lady Defenders were ahead 28-14 at the break.
In the second half it was TRA’s No. 22 turn to shine. Trying to keep her team within striking distance, Bethany Berger drove to the rim for a multiple layups. She drew fouls for several free-throw attempts.
But the sophomore’s effort was only good enough to make the score 45-26 after three quarters.
The fourth quarter started off as a duel between the 22s. Allen scored four quick points. Then Berger put up three points with a lay up and free throw.
Then Allen nailed a layup of her own to make the score 54-29. Down the stretch Allen paced her team with six points.
With the victory, Allen left the court all smiles. And she said how the winning streak started has added to the amazing senior year she’s been having.
“It’s been a real special year to be able to go to Duke,” she concluded. “I feel really blessed to be able to go there. And to add 62 in my second sport is really exciting. I’m just glad I got a chance to do it.”