Hannah Coolen admitted she never thought she would score 1,000 points in her high school basketball career at Thorndike’s Mt. View High School.
But Coolen is a special player. She reached that milestone in Wednesday’s 44-35 victory over visiting Leavitt Area High School of Turner.
In doing so, she became just the fifth player and second girl in school history to accomplish that feat. The other girl is Emily Ellis, a member of the University of Maine Hall of Fame, the Maine Sports Hall of Fame and the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame.
Ellis was on hand to honor Coolen at the game.
“That was exciting,” said Coolen. “To be just the second girl to get to 1,000 points is really special. It’s a big thing. It’s a pretty hard thing to do.”
Coollen’s accomplishment is even more noteworthy because she is a 5-foot-3 point guard and is the focus of every opponent’s defensive strategy. Double teams, triple teams, box-and-ones, triangle-and-twos and faceguarding are common ways to defend her.
And she has played on teams that have never qualified for postseason play.
“It’s amazing,” said Mt. View athletic director Krysta Porter. “She is an outstanding athlete. I can’t think of anyone more deserving to reach this goal than Hannah.”
Coolen had 12 points that night and Porter said she also had “nearly as many assists.”
There was a large crowd on hand and Coolen said “that made it more special.”
“You couldn’t have scripted it any better,” said Mt. View head coach Mark Cooper.
“She doesn’t stop. She never quits. She always wants to get better,” said Cooper, who has coached her all four years. “She puts her body on the line. She gets banged around. But if she gets knocked down, she gets up and keeps playing. She never wants to come out so I don’t take her out.”
Coolen admitted she was nervous for two weeks leading up to the Leavitt game.
She made a layup and was fouled to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
Coolen plays basketball year-round although she is also an outstanding soccer and softball player for the Mustangs.
But basketball is her first love and she has been playing since third grade.
She has played in the offseason for Jason Skarka and the Hermon-based Black Bear North AAU Basketball program the last two years.
“That has been really helpful. You get to play with a lot of different players,” said Coolen who previously played in travel leagues which included some of the Mt. View boys players.
The Unity native also goes to the gym and works on her game on her own and lifts weights.
She has been averaging 14-16 points per game but Cooper said she also averages eight to 10 rebounds and a half dozen assists or so.
“She’s very quick. She likes to make steals. We’ve been running more the last two years and that feeds into her game,” said Cooper.
The Mustangs are 5-7 this season which is significantly better than their 2-16 showing in the 2019-20 season.
Cooper said the team had a “great summer” and Coolen, a two-year captain, “worked hard to get our incoming freshmen involved and make them feel like part of the team. She knew we needed them.”
He said she is always encouraging her teammates.
Coolen said she trusts her teammates and her goal this year is to win a playoff game and get to Bangor.
She said her parents, Roger and Sharon, have been very supportive.
“They drove me to all of my games all these years,” she said.
She intends to attend the University of Southern Maine next year and study exercise science, but isn’t planning to continue playing sports.
“I will miss it,” she said.