ALCOVY TIGERS: Palo reaches 1,000 point plateau

Alcovy High's Kate Palo

Alcovy High's Kate Palo

COVINGTON -- Sixteen points by Alcovy's Kate Palo in Friday's road game against Griffin was enough to push her past the 1,000-point mark for her career as a Lady Tiger.

While reaching such a milestone may be a goal that a lot of players strive for, all Palo cared about is that the Lady Tigers won the game 69-28, keeping the Lady Tigers undefeated in Region 3A-AAAA.

"I was surprised on Friday, I didn't even realize it. All I know is that coach (Kidada Holtzclaw) was going to sub me out because I was out of breath. I still have an upper respiratory infection. I was out of breath then she told me to stand there. The next thing I know they announced it. I was really shocked," Palo said. "It was an emotional night for me, as it was for the whole team. It's a big deal, but the team is the most important part to me.

"In my mind it's all about the team and a state championship. That is my main goal: To lead this team to a state championship. We have the potential to be state champions."

"We as an organization, team and staff are very proud of Kate for this and all of the other accomplishments that she has made," Holtzclaw said. "She is the first Alcovy girl's basketball player in history to reach this remarkable goal. Kate is a wonderful young person as well as a hard-working, dedicated athlete. We are excited for the contributions that she has and will continue to make to our program. We are equally proud of Kate's current and former teammates whom have played a part in helping her make this outstanding mark in history,"

One teammate that has been helping Palo since last season is her sister Kaci.

"We have good chemistry on the court. That's one thing I love about this year," said Kate about playing with her sister.

Another thing that she likes is when the announcer lets fans know how a play was put together by the Palo sisters.

If Palo had been able to maintain the 16-point per game average from last year she could have broken the barrier much earlier rather than waiting until there were six games left in the regular season. But the play of Meagan Tucker and Ashley Williams has cut her average in half, to eight points per game. It's a situation that Palo does not mind finding herself in as long as the team is winning.

"Meagan Tucker and Ashley Williams are both good scorers," Palo said. "The thing about the team is that we have a lot more depth. If I'm not scoring, those other girls are scoring. I couldn't ask for a better team than this one."

Besides her teammates, a lot of Palo's support comes from her family and Holtzclaw. But even though she works hard to get better, she also realizes that her talent comes from somewhere else.

"I wouldn't be here without the God-given ability I have, so I thank God for that first and foremost," Palo said.

As a matter of fact, she feels so strongly about her faith that she wears it on her sleeve, so to speak. On one arm, Palo has Colossians 3:23 (whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters) with Philippians 4:13 (I can do all things through Him who gives me strength) on the other arm.

"Those are more motivation. For example, Philippians, is from Tim Tebow," she said. "To look at that and think about what it says really gets me motivated for the game."

While Palo, who has been playing varsity since her freshman year, has been involved in a lot of games, her biggest game, in her opinion, was when they beat Statesboro 56-50 in a Christmas tournament in Savannah this season. Statesboro knocked Alcovy out of the Class AAAA playoffs 62-52 last year.

"With 14 seconds left, I had the ball and we had to get this play. I took (it) on myself to drive in and I got fouled. The last two free throws were it," Palo said. "Free throws are very big in this game. That's something I take pride in. It's been three games I've won with free throws."