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Felder Scores 1,000th Point, Ties Conard All-Time Scoring Record in Win Over Pomperaug

Conard's Azaiyah Felder scored her 1,000th point on Feb. 5, 2020, and went on to tie Delaney Connors' all-time scoring record of 1,020 points. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Azaiyah Felder became the second player in Conard girls basketball history to score 1,000 career points, joining former teammate Delaney Connors and tying her career scoring record on the same night.

Azaiyah Felder (back row, center) celebrates scoring her 1,000th point with her teammates and family after the game. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Marlon Pitter. Photos by Ronni Newton

Conard junior guard Azaiyah Felder only needed six points against Pomperaug to reach 1,000 for her career.

But like the prolific scorer she is, Felder found plenty of ways to score, leading the Chieftains with a game-high 26 points to defeat the Panthers 54-46 and tie Conard’s all-time scoring record Wednesday night in West Hartford.

“It means a lot,” Felder said of her career milestones. “I was nervous at first, but I just got through it.”

Trailing 13-6 with three minutes left in the first quarter, Felder hit a turnaround jumper from the elbow to reach the 1,000-point mark, joining former teammate Delaney Connors as the only players to do so in Conard girls basketball history.

Felder had her sights set on scoring 1,000 points since joining the program, but she didn’t expect it to happen this early in her career.

Azaiyah Felder watches, and her teammates on the bench begin to celebrate as the ball goes in, notching her 1,000th career point. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

“I wanted to get 1,000, but I wasn’t sure I was gonna get it by junior year, but I got it,” she said.

After a brief stoppage to acknowledge her accomplishment, Felder sparked Conard (11-5) with eight more first-quarter points to put the Chieftains ahead 18-14.

With 44 seconds left in the game, Felder made a pair of free throws to tie Connors’ mark of 1,020 career points set in 2018. Felder had a chance to take sole possession of the all-time scoring record in the closing moments but opted to dribble more time off the clock and help secure the victory.

“She was shy one point,” said Conard head coach Laurie Cersosimo. “She was a little bit bummed, but we decided that giving her a courtesy pull was more important after the performance she had tonight. It was a great accomplishment on her part. She thanked the team, which is really great because she knows she can’t do it without them, so we’re happy with that.”

Azaiyah Felder is congratulated by her teammates after leaving the game and tying Delaney Connors’ career record of 1,020 points in a win over Pomperaug on Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Pomperaug (10-6) went on an 11-0 run and controlled most of the second quarter, taking a 25-18 lead with 3:23 remaining. Ella DiPippo scored four of Conard’s six second-quarter points over the last 1:02 to cut into the margin, trailing 27-24 at halftime.

The Chieftains started the third quarter with an 8-0 run to take a 32-27 lead at the 5:11 mark. While Pomperaug scored the next three points to trim the lead, Conard never trailed again. The Chieftains went up by 10 points on a Felder layup late in the quarter, but Pomperaug scored ten seconds later to make it 43-35 heading into the fourth.

Ariana Gutierrez scored to give Conard its largest lead of the game, 49-37, with 4:22 left. The Panthers made a late push, using a 7-0 run cut the margin to five at the 50-second mark, but the Chieftains made free throws down the stretch to stave off the Panthers’ comeback.

DiPippo joined Felder in double digits with 14 points for Conard. Molly Flanagan led Pomperaug with 15 points, while Jada Stietzel and Sydney Lounsbury added 12 and 10 respectively.

With a win over a strong non-conference opponent in addition to Felder’s accomplishments, DiPippo said “so many things” were special for the Chieftains Wednesday night.

“We’ve been on a good streak right now,” DiPippo said. “That was a really tough team. We wanted it tonight, and we showed that at the end when it got a little close. And then, even bigger than that for Azaiyah, I’m so proud of her. One thousand points as a junior is extremely hard to do. She’s amazing. Love playing with her. It’s just so special for our team.”

With four regular-season games remaining, Conard will host Avon Friday at 6:45 p.m.

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Ella DiPippo had 14 points for Conard. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Ariana Gutierrez. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard’s fan section, the Red C, reacts as Azaiyah Felder scores her 1,000th point. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard’s fan section, the Red C, reacts as Azaiyah Felder scores her 1,000th point. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Azaiyah Felder (holding ball) poses with Conard teammates after scoring her 1,000th career point Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard’s Azaiyah Felder scored her 1,000th point on Feb. 5, 2020, and went on to tie Delaney Connors’ all-time scoring record of 1,020 points. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard’s Azaiyah Felder scored her 1,000th point on Feb. 5, 2020, and went on to tie Delaney Connors’ all-time scoring record of 1,020 points. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard’s Azaiyah Felder scored her 1,000th point on Feb. 5, 2020, and went on to tie Delaney Connors’ all-time scoring record of 1,020 points. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard’s Azaiyah Felder scored her 1,000th point on Feb. 5, 2020, and went on to tie Delaney Connors’ all-time scoring record of 1,020 points. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Ella DiPippo (No. 3) and Samantha Lee (No. 21). Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Azaiyah Felder. Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Ella DiPippo. Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Samantha Lee. Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Azaiyah Felder. Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Ariana Gutierrez. Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Ella DiPIppo. Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Tatiana Harrison. Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Ariana Gutierrez. Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard vs. Pomperaug. Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Azaiyah Felder’s final free throws tied Conard’s all-time scoring record of 1,020 points, set by Delaney Connors in 2018. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Azaiyah Felder is congratulated by her teammates after leaving the game and tying Delaney Connors’ career record of 1,020 points in a win over Pomperaug on Feb. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Azaiyah Felder (right) celebrates her 1,000th point and record-tying performance after Wednesday’s game with her mom, Wayzaro Walton. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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Marlon Pitter

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