It did not take long for Central DeWitt junior Taylor Veach to secure a career milestone.
And the Sabers girls basketball team had its own memorable night during Saturday’s 4A Region 5 semifinal with Washington.
Just seven points from totaling 1,000 for her career, Veach needed less than a quarter to become just the 11th area girls basketball player and fifth Saber to accomplish the feat.
Central DeWitt, meanwhile, broke open its postseason opener with a monster third quarter, erupting for 25 points and burying six three-pointers in an eventual 75-31 rout.
The victory sends the Sabers to Tuesday’s regional final where they will host Marion, which beat fellow WaMaC squad Clear Creek-Amana, 54-36, in the other semifinal
Playing its first game in eight days, the Sabers showed some early rust — they shot just 11-of-31 from the field during the first half — but trailed only once when the Demons opened the game’s scoring.
Veach, however, closed in on 1,000 points with four straight to open the game and Allie Meadows added a hoop inside before Veach reached her milestone with a three-pointer.
That proved to be the midpoint of a 17-0 Sabers run that gave the hosts some early breathing room.
Washington found its offense in the second quarter. The Demons cut their 15-point deficit to nine after back-to-back three-pointers and fought back again when Central DeWitt pushed the score to 26-10 on an EmmaGrace Hartman three.
The Demons were back within 13 early in the third quarter when the Sabers took control.
A Meadows three-pointer seemed to open the floodgates. Hartman followed with a hoop inside and Meadows knocked down a free throw before Natalie Butler buried a corner three and Veach knocked down her own trey to cap a 12-0 run.
Washington ended the cavalcade of points with a free throw, but Veach knocked down another three. Hartman drained one of her own and Veach struck one more time from deep to cap a 21-1 stretch.
All told, the Sabers shot 9-of-11 from the floor in the third quarter and were perfect on their six three-point attempts — even a long, potential buzzer-beating three by Meadows hit nothing but net but came just after the horn.
Central DeWitt carried that momentum into the fourth quarter. Veach knocked down another three — her fourth of the half — and teamed with Meadows for the first 10 points of the stanza, while Sabers seniors tallied eight of the team’s final 10 points, capped by a Kathryn Grau three-pointer.
Veach wrapped up her memorable night with 28 points — including five threes — while grabbing seven rebounds.
Meadows added 12 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Hartman chipped in 11 points, four rebounds and two assists. Butler matched Meadows with three steals, while Talbot Kinney had four rebounds with three assists, two steals and two blocked shots.