Deja Vu: Wilmington Cager Travels in Attempt at Second Career Milestone
Ashley Vitale, already a 1,000-point scorer at Wilmington High School, travels to Anna Maria College Wednesday in hopes of scoring 1,000th point of Endicott College career.
Ashley Vitale has yet to find a home court advantage during her playing career, not when it comes to milestones at least. Still, the Wilmington High School graduate impresses on the court wherever she goes.
The 2007 WHS graduate dropped in the 1,000th point of her varsity career during a road contest in her senior season. Vitale became the first female player in Wilmington to reach the milestone when she stuck the short jump shot.
On Wednesday night, Vitale is poised to once more hit 1,000 points, this time for Endicott College. Once more, however, Vitale likely won’t reach the accomplishment in from of her home fans as the Gulls travel to Anna Maria College Wednesday.
If Vitale reaches 1,000 points as expected, her accomplishment will be celebrated at the team’s senior night.
In 2007 with the Wildcats, Vitale won the Cape Ann League Player of the Year award as she helped lead the school to its most successful campaign in program history.
Former Wildcat Brianne Bozzella said Vitale was an ideal teammate, and not just because of her offensive prowess.
“It was so awesome to see her reach 1,000 points,” said Bozzella, a current student at UMass-Lowell. “But she never made it about that. She was just concerned with winning. That’s where her mindset was always at.”
With Endicott, Vitale started slow as she averaged less than five points per contest in her freshman year. During her sophomore campaign, she spiked to nearly 13 markers a game and in her junior season, Vitale poured in an average of 11 points.
Following an 18-point output against Western New England College on Saturday, Vitale is now dumping in 15 points per night, second on the team as one of two shooters in double digits. She also grabbed 10 rebounds on the night for her fifth double-double of the campaign.
“I coached her for two years, and she worked hard every day and never took a day off,” said current Wilmington girls head coach Jay Keane who attends games in Beverly when his schedule allows. “If you got the ball to her in the post, it was automatic. She’s really improved on her game facing the basket. She’s really rounded out her game and done well for herself.”
Vitale said that at first, it was a difficult adjustment to the college level both on and off the court.
“It was a lot harder than I thought it would be,” said Vitale. “Everyone moved so much faster and the ball moved quicker. You have longer practices and a bigger workload, so time management was the biggest thing. The level of play was a lot higher, but by second semester I was used to everything.”
The time management skills Vitale acquired paid off, as she was named to the Dean’s List in 2010 at Endicott.
“I went and saw her play at Endicott, and it was definitely weird watching from the bleachers since we were always on the same team,” said Bozzella. “It’s great to see her succeed at the next level. We all knew that she’d do well, and she did.”