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Atwater Breaks Trio of Records for the Hornets

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In January, Weeki Wachee’s basketball player Paige Atwater made history by eclipsing 1000 points in her career. Now, the Hornets star is making headlines yet again for breaking records. In the Green and Black’s 78-23 victory over the Hudson Cobras on February 2, 2024, the senior guard reached a trio of milestones in a single night: two school and one Hernando County record. The Hornets’ athlete showed just why she sports number one on her jersey as she scored 40 points with 11 treys during Friday’s demolition of the Cobras.

Atwater’s spectacular performance saw her break the school and county record for three-pointers and the school record for points in a game. The previous best for points at Weeki Wachee was 38, which was held by former Hornets star Princess Hester, who now plays at the NCAA Division 1 level Chicago State University. Fittingly, Atwater’s milestone for threes saw her pass her own previous high-water mark of 10 that she had set against the Citrus Hurricanes on Dec. 14. The future St. Leo athlete even leads the state in shots from beyond the arch for the 2023-2024 season with 108.

“The night Paige Atwater dropped 40 points was absolutely a night to remember,” said Hornets Girls Basketball Head Coach Billy Hughes. “Like I have always said, and many others have said, Paige is a special player that you do not see often. The girl constantly gets boxed and one – or double–teamed every game. She still manages to have great games and is very effective on the court.”

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Despite teams consistently keying in on and attempting to stifle her, the FACA (Florida Athletic Coaches Association) 4A District 10 Player of the Year always makes her presence felt. Even when she was relatively contained in the district championship versus Nature Coast Tech (6 points), she opened the way for a pair of freshmen (Joelys Rodriguez and Marlee Schumacher) to log a combined 19 points and 19 rebounds as the Hornets won the district title. As of the writing of this article, Atwater has added over 100 points to bring her career total to 1124. The rest of her stat line includes 26 blocks, 142 assists, 151 rebounds, and 186 steals.

“I am so extremely proud of her,” Coach Hughes said. “Paige continues to put the time in over and over in the gym to work on her game. She is like a Caitlyn Clark from Iowa! She really is! Not only did she drop a 40-piece nugget meal, but she also had 11 threes! That is unheard of, 11 threes! I cannot think of another player more deserving of these two records she broke. All her hard work is paying off, and I love watching it happen.”

Though her team fell in a hard-fought match against the Academy of the Holy Names in the regional quarterfinals last month, she gave it all she had with a six-point performance while being heavily guarded. Atwater had a phenomenal season in which she was named the FACA (Florida Athletic Coaches Association) 4A District 10 Player of the Year and led her team to their second district championship in two years. Thanks to these accomplishments and more, the senior has enjoyed a strong career that has etched her name into Weeki Wachee’s history books.

Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch is a Graduate with Distinction, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. He's written numerous articles reporting on Florida Gators football, basketball, and soccer teams; the sports of rugby, basketball, professional baseball, hockey, and the NFL Draft. Prior to Hernando Sun he was a contributor to ESPN, Gainesville, FL and Gator Country Multimedia, Inc. in Gainesville, FL, and Stadium Gale.
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