Olivia Olsen becomes third Niskayuna girls’ basketball player to reach 1,000 points

Once permission to compete was granted earlier this month, Niskayuna senior center Olivia Olsen vowed to make her return to play this season as prolific as possible immediately.

Monday evening, Olsen completed her sixth game of the season and the 50th of her career. Needing only four points to reach the 1,000-point plateau, the 6-foot-2 girls’ basketball standout wasted little time as she scored on a layup in transition during the first quarter to help the Silver Warriors beat Scotia 75-14.

“Obviously, I wanted to have the season because I wanted to see my team be able to play, but I especially wanted to see it for her as a senior,” Niskayuna girls’ basketball coach Sarah Neely said. “The fact that she could have missed out on this milestone was upsetting. I am so happy that she was able to do it.”

Olsen, who is headed to play next year at Division I Providence College, became the third player in school history to reach 1,000 career points. She did it the fastest as well. The other players to reach 1,000 career points at Niskayuna are Kate Fagan (1,439) and Olivia Owens (1,104). Fagan went on to star at Colorado and Owens is currently competing for Kentucky after starting her Division I career at Maryland.

“It is a big accomplishment. I wanted to get my name on the wall,” Olsen said. “Hopefully, in 10 years or so, I will have kids and a family and I can go back to the school and say, ‘Hey, that’s me.’ “

Olsen, who finished with 22 points Monday, said being in the 1,000-point club with Fagan and Owens is “great company to be in.” She now has scored 1,018 points. The senior saw plenty of defensive attention against Scotia.

“We started seeing that last season and there were some games where she got really frustrated with it,” Neely said. “She knew coming into the season that she would be double- and triple-teamed. We’ve seen that in every single game. She is such an unselfish player. People notice she has a lot of points, but she reads the court well, finds her teammates and really cares more about winning than her own personal points.”

Meghan Huerter is a senior guard at Shenendehowa and a teammate of Olsen’s with the Albany City Rocks. The two will play together again at the collegiate level as Huerter also is headed to play at Providence. She watched the first half Monday to see her friend reach her career milestone.

“She has worked hard for it, even though she started (her basketball career) late. It is a big accomplishment and shows how good she is,” Huerter said. “She is a force to be reckoned with on the offensive end and there aren’t many teams or defenses that can stop her.”

Olsen concentrated on soccer earlier in her athletic career and began playing basketball in her sophomore year.

Niskayuna improved to 5-1 overall with the nonleague win against the Tartans. The Silver Warriors return to Suburban Council play Wednesday with a contest against Shaker. The Blue Bison feature senior center Maddisyn Mahoney, who is headed to play at Fairleigh Dickinson.

“We’re looking forward to that game,” Olsen said. “Shaker is a good team.”

Huerter said she is thrilled to see her friend up her game, even if it means the Silver Warriors provide Shenendehowa a greater challenge when the two teams collide on March 5.

“She is a very easy-going kid,” Huerter said. “Her defensive abilities make her really fun to play with. Her ability to alter shots and shot-block is impressive. Even on offense, she makes these plays where you don’t expect it.”

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