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Anitielu reaches career milestone for Farmington High basketball


FARMINGTON − Farmington High School senior standout Kamalani Anitielu will be honored Tuesday night at Scorpion Arena for achieving a career milestone, becoming only the fifth player in girls basketball team history to score 1,000 or more points.

Anitielu reached the milestone Thursday night, scoring 16 points in a 48-45 win over Volcano Vista. The win not only improved the Lady Scorpions record to 15-1 on the season, but extended the team's win streak to seven straight games as they enter district play this week.

Anitielu joins her older sister Kiiyani and past Farmington standouts Allison Foote, Samantha Roberts and Nancy Ratliff as the only players in school history to score 1,000 or more points in their careers. She will be honored for her efforts with a commemorative game ball and a plaque, which will be presented to her during the first quarter of Tuesday night's game against district rival Sandia.

"It's a really amazing accomplishment," Farmington head coach Tom Adair said. "She is such a good leader for the team she has a knack of making everyone around her better."

In addition to her scoring prowess, Anitielu leads the team in assists this season and is the second leading rebounder on the team.

"She is the type of person that reaches out and helps her teammates be the best they can be," Adair said.

Anitielu, averaging more than 11 points per game in her career, which started when she was an eighth-grader, has already scored 20 or more points in three games this season, with her best game coming last month against Monument Valley, Arizona, when she led all scorers with 24 points.

"It's been such a great experience to know I was closing in on this record, and to share it with such other great players from here, including my sister, really means a lot," Anitielu said.

The win last week over Volcano Vista was an important one because Farmington had lost each of their last two games against the defending state champions. Last year, the Lady Scorpions were eliminated by Volcano Vista in the Class 5A state semifinals. Earlier this season, Farmington was edged by Volcano Vista in the championship game of the Albuquerque Academy Tournament.

"That was a really big win for us, but now we have district to think about and remember to continue this season with the next game up," Anitielu said. "We're very confident where we are right now, but we have a long way to go still."

Adair took over as head coach of the Farmington girls basketball team following the end of last season, when Larenson Henderson resigned to take over the boys basketball head coaching position at Shiprock High School.

"It's been so amazing to have learned from coaches who have that kind of experience in winning championships and having such amazing teams," Anitielu said.

Younger sisters Kapiolani and Kjani may be on their way to joining Kamalani in the 1,000-point club. Kapiolani, a junior, has scored more than 500 points in her career while freshman Kjani has already scored 164 points in just 16 games this season.

"Sharing the floor with my sisters has been such a thrill," Anitielu said. "We challenge each other and work well together and keep each other going. It's been a good learning experience for all of us."

Game time for Farmington's District 2-5A opener at 7 p.m. Tuesday. For more information on the Lady Scorpions, check out their official team page at MaxPreps.com.