HARVARD -- Bromfield's Montana Burke has put in the long hours in the gym to get to the 1,000-point milestone, being the first female guard in school history to do so. Burke nailed the historic basket on the road at Tahanto with two quick three-pointers, and she led her team to a 52-29 league victory that night.
Burke's sister Lindsey and the rest of her family were on hand for the momentous occasion. Lindsey Burke was the last Lady to reach the 1,000 point plateau.
"The first thing that happened was Casey (Magrath), who has been playing with me throughout my whole career, came over and gave me the biggest hug," said Burke. "We were both tearing up, and when I saw my dad it was really emotional. Lindsey was ecstatic; I definitely heard her cheering for me when it went in."
Burke has done what every coach expects from their players -- to continue to mature as an individual and expand their game. Burke was a prolific scorer when Bromfield head coach Mike Dube came to the program during her sophomore year, but as time withered away, Burke's game improved.
Over the last three seasons, Burke has scored more than 15 points only once, and that dates back to the first game of last season.
"I am so proud of who she has become over the past few years as a basketball player and a person" said Dube. "I wish I had her for four or five years because I think she could have become an even greater basketball player. I am so proud of her for getting the
Basketball is the only sport Burke partakes in and she competes year round. Three years ago Dube approached Burke, and asked her to make her game better-rounded. After Burke made the adjustment and became more of facilitator, her basketball IQ continued to grow.
The looming 1,000th point never turned into a distraction for the Bromfield Lady Trojans due in large part to Dube not addressing the team about it until she was just 30 points away. Often athletes focus heavily on their individual goals, but not Burke. Burke refused to let the looming milestone take precedence over the success of the team. The Lady Trojans have already secured their seed in the district playoff tournament.
Dube believes that Burke netted the 1,000th tally at the appropriate time in her career.
"She certainly could have scored it a lot earlier in her career," said Dube. "She can score a lot more than she does now, but she realizes she has other kids on her team that can score. She is all about getting everyone involved. My first year here, she had games where she'd score 23 points, and we'd still lose because it was really only her."
Burke is a natural born competitor and goes out of her way to keep her teammates involved both on and off the floor. This season, Burke has a season scoring average of around 12.5 points per game, but she knows the game is about much more than personal accolades.
The Bromfield offense runs through Burke and Magrath. They have played together since they were young. Burke is an impact player on the defensive side of the floor, and Dube believes she is one of the top defenders in the league.
"Her game has elevated to a whole new level over the last couple years," said Dube. "She has become a great defensive player and is one of the best defensive players in our league. She has a great presence on the court, and she is almost like having another coach on the court. She sees things we often don't see."
Burke has ambitions to attend college in the fall to study psychology and nutrition. Bromfield will have a large void to fill when she graduates, but the program is in better shape now that she has left her mark.
"She has been a great role model for the younger kids the last two years," said Dube. "Hopefully when her and Casey leave, they're leaving this program in better shape than when they entered it."