By Beck Leke – Staff Writer
As the basketball season comes close to an end, the St. Ambrose Queen Bees keep a record of 18-5 in the season after they defeated William Penn University on Feb. 1, but for one player, it was more than just another win.
Lauren Cash, a senior from Pekin, Ill., had a highlighted game of her career in a conference game against William Penn as she had her 1,000th career point with the Queen Bees.
“It’s a big honor to me,” Cash said. “I feel like I have accomplished something really big here and it shows me that my hard work didn’t go wasted.”
This is Cash’s third season with the Queen Bees after she transferred her sophomore year from St. Joseph’s College in Ind.
She plays as a shooting guard for the Bees. Cash describes her first year as a transfer student as “a little rough,” but she became used to the environment and the team.
“She has grown as a player and her roles have changed,” her coach, Krista Van Hauen said. “She is the “go-to kid” for points.”
In the history of the St. Ambrose women’s basketball program, which started in 1975, Cash is the 28th player to hit the 1,000th career point mark.
When Cash made the shot, a timeout was called for her to have her moment and celebrate with her teammates.
“I called timeout because I knew she had been looking forward to that moment,” Van Hauen said. “I had been waiting too, and I know how it feels to reach that point of your career. Great players have played and passed here but not all of them had done what she just did.”
Cash is the first player coached by Van Hauen to have reached the 1,000 points mark.
“I am very proud of her because it’s a big accomplishment for her, especially just in her 3 years here,” Van Hauen said. “This is some pressure lifted off her shoulder after reaching a point like that during her last season with us. She can relax now and get ready for the conference tournament without worrying about it anymore.”
“It motivates me a lot to keep going and try to fight with the team to the nationals,” Cash said. “I want to add more honors and leave an everlasting mark here.”
Cash says there is no doubt that it’s a sad feeling knowing that she will be leaving the team after this season but she also added that it helps her work harder toward her next big goals, winning the conference championship and going to the nationals.
Coach Van Hauen says it’s obviously not a good feeling losing a player like Cash next season, but she has become a leader with a grown confidence and set good examples that some younger players look up to, so knowing that she is leaving players just like herself is a great feeling.
The conference tournament starts on the first week of March and nationals begin on March 10 if the Bees make it through.