After scoring the two points needed to tie the Fairfield girls? 5-on-5 all-time scoring record on an easy layup in the first quarter, Amber Nicole Buch hit a jump shot with 1:54 remaining in the second period to become the top Trojan in career points, surpassing the mark set by Amy Breen Cox in 1993.
Although the Trojans lost 55-45, Nicole ended the game with 14 points, leaving the active scoring mark at 1,403 points with games left at Knoxville and Fort Madison, plus at least one playoff game versus either Mt. Pleasant or Keokuk.
After chatting with many of the several dozen or so family members in attendance, Buch spoke with The Fairfield Ledger about etching her name in the Fairfield record books.
Did you feel different once you set the record?
Buch: Definitely. I had some nerves thoughout the whole day and the first quarter and even after I got the points, it was still kind of there. Anytime we play Keokuk, my nerves are going more than normal, but as I get older, I think I handle them better. So does the team.
It seems like the gym?s half full of Buchs, talk about having your people here. I heard your mom was working on a seating chart Thursday night?
Buch: It?s huge. My family?s a huge part of my life and will support me through anything. They drive however far and there are so many people here.
Where did everyone come from?
Buch: Mostly the Iowa City and Des Moines areas. Some people were watching online and my sister came from Chicago. I knew people were coming, but my mom and dad wanted to surprise me as well. Having all of those people here was huge and meant so much to me, plus the whole community was here too, which was cool.
You handed the ball to your grandfather, Leonard Buch, talk about that decision.
Buch: My grandpa?s always been a huge fan of the game and he just loves every single one of his grandkids and loves watching them play. I?m the last one, so he?s trying to hold onto that. I go see him after games and just talk to him and he loves it. He loves the game, he loves giving me advice and watching me play. Giving him the ball wasn?t even a question, my whole family knew. I asked if I could give him the ball and everyone said, ?why not.? I should have done it last year when I scored the 1,000 points, but this year I knew for sure and when he teared up a little bit, it got to me. I wasn?t going to cry but that kind of set me off. It means so much to us both and it was a good moment to share between us and the family.
Do you think stopping the game gave Keokuk even more incentive to win tonight?
Buch: I don?t really think so. We knew they were going to come after us and it?s always a close game. They scored the ball well tonight, and we didn?t do as good from the perimeter. We are a much better shooting team than we showed tonight. If we see them again in two weeks, it will be a much closer game and hopefully we can pull it off with better shooting. We know how to play, but we came out a little bit timid because we really didn?t have anything to lose, and we didn?t come out with the drive needed to win this game.