, Salem, MA


February 8, 2008

Bounce Passes: Stewart's rebounding a true testament of her greatness

Caroline Stewart doesn't need stats to back up her dominance on a basketball court. But the Masconomet senior center keeps on reaching career milestones just the same.

Already a member of the 1,000-point club, Stewart was inducted into an even more elite club last week when she grabbed the 1,000th rebound of her storied career.

If 1,000 points are the benchmark for high school greatness, then 1,000 boards provide an automatic pass into legendary status.

Consider this: for a high school basketball player to reach the number 1,000 in any category, it takes an average of 12.5 per game for 80 career games (the standard 20-game season over four years of high school).

Truthfully, Stewart is already beyond 80 games. She played her freshman season at Pingree — which plays a longer regular season schedule than typical North Shore high school teams — and has a been a regular in the postseason with the Chieftains.

Regardless, it still means Stewart has averaged a double-double for her career.

"Scoring 1,000 points is normally a result of how many shots you take," Masco coach Bob Romeo said, "but to get to 1,000 rebounds is pretty significant."

Players who want to score can simply keep shooting. It's not quite that easy, naturally, but rebounding is different. It takes constant effort, determination and the ability to play a physical game.

For every rebound Stewart has grabbed over the last four years, she probably has a bruise received or a bruise given to match her carom total.

This season Stewart, who is averaging over 17 points per game, is checking in with 12.3 rebounds a contest.

Last week Stewart had three straight double-doubles — 20 points and 14 rebounds against Amesbury, 11 and 14 against Georgetown, and 17 and 12 against Central Catholic. Not coincidentally, all three games were Masco wins.

"That's just a kid who's committed to doing all the work on the defensive end," Romeo said of Stewart. "A shot goes up, and the most important thing is to get the basketball. She's very strong, she knows how to get position, and she has very good hands. Once she has it, no one is going to take it away."

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