Thunder senior Samantha Paulsen goes to the net during the first half of Zimmerman’s loss to Sauk Rapids-Rice on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Zimmerman High School. Paulsen became the sixth 1,000 point scorer in Zimmerman girls basketball history on Thursday, Jan. 19, when she scored off a free throw against Albany in the Thunder’s 87-55 loss to the Huskies.
Before this season, there had been only three girls to score 1,000 points in Zimmerman girls basketball history. Now, two more have joined this exclusive club for a total of five girls.
One of them is Thunder senior guard Samantha Paulsen, who scored her 1,000th bucket off a free throw against Albany on Thursday, Jan. 19, at Albany Senior High School. The Thunder lost 87-55 to the Huskies.
Paulsen joins senior guard Payton McEachern and Zimmerman girls basketball alumni Alyssa Daugherty, Naomi Hagstrom, Kaitlyn Houser and Ashley Schleper as the only players to score at least 1,000 points in program history.
McEachern said she had a big smile on her face after Paulsen scored.
“It was a happy moment,” McEachern said. “I was excited for her. She deserved it. It’s a lot of fun to be around her.”
Paulsen said she would describe herself as a player with dominance in both hands and a good shooter who can get to the rim and finish.
Paulsen has had a special bond with McEachern. Both are members of Zimmerman’s 1,000 point club and both have been playing basketball together since their sixth grade year for a total of seven seasons.
McEachern said she and Paulsen have good chemistry together.
“We’ve been the best teammates together,” McEachern said. “We know where each other is going on the court. We’re also best friends outside of basketball.”
Paulsen is a multi-sport athlete for the Thunder. She completed her senior volleyball season this past fall and will run for the Zimmerman girls track and field team in the spring. As a student, she is a member of the National Honor Society.
McEachern said Paulsen is going to leave a positive legacy on the Thunder girls basketball program after she, as well as McEachern, graduate in June.
“She’s an awesome player,” McEachern said. “She’ll be missed [as well as] her leadership.”
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