Grand Valley’s Chenoweth cracks 1500-point mark | PostIndependent.com

Grand Valley’s Chenoweth cracks 1500-point mark

Josh Carney
Post Independent
Grand Valley senior Shaya Chenoweth looks for a lane to the basket as Roaring Fork sophomore Maya Lindgren defends in Carbondale late in the season.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Just over one year to the date, Grand Valley’s Shaya Chenoweth eclipsed the 1,000-point barrier for the Cardinals girls basketball program in a win over the Aspen Skiers at home on Feb. 2, 2018. Fast forward a whole calendar year, and Chenoweth again reached heights once thought unreachable for the Cardinals.

In a third-place game loss to Moffat County last Saturday in the 3A district tournament, Chenoweth — who became the program’s all-time leading scorer, passing former teammate Kylyn Rigsby — cracked the 1,500-point mark, sitting at 1,502 career points heading into Friday’s regional tournament matchup against No. 19 The Vanguard Academy at Pagosa Springs High School.

Coaches and teammates kept Chenoweth’s achievement a secret until a recent practice at Grand Valley Middle School, where they celebrated Chenoweth’s achievement as a team, while also having former head coach Jake Higuera come in to speak to the team before the regional tournament.

“I didn’t even know that I reached fifteen hundred points,” said a surprised Chenoweth. “To be honest, I really don’t care about the points or any other stats. I don’t really keep track of them or look at them. I just try to be the best player that I can be; numbers don’t affect me much.”

“We’re just really proud of her,” added junior teammate Jordyn Pittman. “She’s very unselfish and is always team-first. She doesn’t brag about her accomplishments and just keeps her head down and works hard. She’s just an awesome person and a great teammate. I’m very proud of her.”

One year after averaging nearly 23 points per game, Chenoweth saw her points per game numbers drop this season under head coach Ike Pittman to 14.7 points per game. However, with teams focusing more and more on Chenoweth, forcing her to work on her outside game, teammates Jordyn Pittman and Lohgan Teter have helped carry the load for Grand Valley this season, making for a more balanced team.

“She’s had to become more of a complete player this year,” said Ike Pittman. “She’s developed more of an outside shot, which has differed from her ability to score in transition in recent years utilizing her speed. She’s just been so unselfish this year, but we’ve gotten on her a bit because she’s so unselfish. We need her to score more for us to be successful, but she’s such a great teammate.”

A four-sport athlete, Chenoweth has excelled at everything she’s done in sports. Committed to run track at Colorado Mesa University, Chenoweth is the epitome of a high-level athlete. Throughout her four years in high school basketball, Chenoweth rarely came off the floor, playing nearly a full 32 minutes each night. Being on the floor and leading by example has helped lift up the rest of her teammates.

“Coach Higuera coined a phrase a few years ago for Shaya: Warrior Princess,” said Pittman. “She’s the definition of that for us. We have always used her as the example of that for this product. What that means is to be an outstanding citizen in your community, a great teammate, student and person. And on top of that, when she’s on the floor she’s relentless. She’s just all-out, all the time.”

Grand Valley hopes Chenoweth is all out again this weekend at the regional tournament. For the third time in four years the Cardinals are at Pagosa Springs, which has caused some frustration for the program. But with Chenoweth still in the fold and driving the car that is the Cardinals attack, Grand Valley has a good shot at reaching the state tournament on the Front Range next weekend.

jcarney@postindependent.com