Hissam hits 1,000 points

NEW MANCHESTER – To Vanessa Hissam, 12 is a much more important number than 1,000.

Her Oak Glen Golden Bears have a record of 12-6 on the year.

“As a team, we wanted to play more together,” Hissam said. “We wanted to get more wins than we did last year and we’re doing that.”

In 2012-13, Oak Glen went 11-12, a year removed from a run in the West Virginia state tournament.

But on a personal note, Hissam has climbed the ranks of the Golden Bears record books. In a 58-34 win over Edison on Jan. 30, the senior scored 13 points to surpass the 1,000-point mark for her career.

She’s the most recent player to do so since Payden Eckleberry in 2011-12.

“That’s being consistent for four years,” said Oak Glen coach Scott Wiley. “There’s been a nice list of talented players to come through and reach (1,000 points). Vanessa is a talented player, too, and has earned her spot with the best of them.”

Hissam currently sits at 1,019 points.

“I didn’t really even think about it,” she said. “I didn’t know I was that close at first. “During that game, I really tried to go for it after I knew where I stood with it.”

Contributing to the varsity team for four years, Hissam believes she’s developed into a better overall player. The biggest improvements in her game have come from her junior year to her final campaign.

“I got a lot better handling the ball,” Hissam said. “I’ve learned to become a better shooter and have been looking to score more.

“It’s my last year, so I wanted to go out the best way possible and give it my all.”

She’s racked up the points in basketball and also sent home many kills in volleyball. Hissam was a key contributor on the front lines of the Golden Bears volleyball team that captured three-straight state titles.

“I’m going to miss both sports,” Hissam said, noting that she is seeking to play one or the other in college. “I’m going to miss my teammates and playing, even practicing everyday.”

Though she barely stands at 5-foot-8, Hissam continues to be one of the strongest post players in the Valley.

“She’s not the tallest post player around but she’s got good hands and she has great timing,” Wiley said. “Vanessa really plays the game well. She can see things and knows where her teammates are. She has great court vision.”

Oak Glen still has three regular season games left before sectional play.

“I’m looking forward to finishing out strong and making a run in the tournament,” Hissam said. “I’m not ready for the season to be over.”