Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
PEEBLES — With basketball in her bloodline, Peebles sophomore Jacey Justice is the latest member of her family to reach a career milestone.
Coming into this past Saturday’s Division III sectional final against Green, Justice brought a career total of 988 points with her. But the 12 she needed to reach 1,000 seemed like they took forever to obtain.
“I knew from the beginning that I had to get 12 points. But the main goal was to win and just hope it naturally came,” Justice said. “I got fouled, [needing two points to get it], went to the free throw line and just thought, ‘If I make these two, I’ll get it.’ I was really nervous but tried to just shoot it normally.”
The foul line is a spot Justice has been hundreds of times. So, after taking a deep breath, she put two shots up and, thankfully, breathed a sigh of relief.
“They both went in and all I wanted to do was hug my parents, who are my coaches, also,” Justice said.
That moment is one Jacey’s parents have gotten to share four times prior — two each with both of her older brothers. Blake and Beau Justice scored over 2,000 points in their illustrious careers at Peebles. If all goes well in her career, Jacey will have a second hug to give as well.
“There’s a basketball history in my family,” Justice said. “My oldest brother [Blake] scored 2,183 points while my middle brother [Beau] came through and beat my oldest with 2,380. Watching their love for the game, and the way my parents put them first, has made me love the game. I grew up watching it, and now being on the court is an amazing feeling.”
While 1,000 didn’t have Jacey’s attention for much of this season, near the end of the regular season, the number started to come into view.
“I’ve been eyeing it since about three games before the season was over,” Justice said. “I was 93 away. It’s a definite relief and it stands very high in my career [in terms of accomplishments].”
But it’s not over yet. I still have two more years.”
A scary thought for all of the Indians’ opponents.
Justice also didn’t forget to mention her teammates and coaches for getting her to where she is now.
“My teammates are one of the main reasons I’ve accomplished this,” she said. “Without everything they’ve done, I wouldn’t have gotten to play as many games as we have. My coaches, and my parents, are the reason I’ve gotten this. All the time, they’ve used me and helped me grow, helped me love the sport and helped me work hard.”
The Indians, at 16-7 overall, are scheduled to take on Belpre in a Division III district semifinal at 1:45 p.m., Saturday at Jackson High School. With her 1,000th out of the way, Justice can simply focus on doing what she does best: using her scoring abilities to get her team in the win column.
“I want to try to keep going far in the tournament and maybe win a district final. But it’s one game at a time,” Justice said. “Individually, I just hope to continue to keep doing my part to win games.”