1,000 points add up quick for Bailey Norby

Sophomore reaches scoring milestone

Bailey Norby (holding ball) is surrounded by her teammates to celebrate the scoring of her 1,000th career point. The sophomore reached the milestone in the section loss in Cambridge last Tuesday. She is the sixth Ranger to score 1,000 points. (Photo submitted)

Clint Riese
Sports Editor

An individual feat accomplished during Forest Lake’s final game made a bitter loss a little easier to swallow and gives the program hope for a bright future. A contested, close-range shot early in the section game at Cambridge-Isanti put Bailey Norby in rare company as the sixth Ranger to score 1,000 career points.

The 6-1 forward is the first to reach the milestone as a sophomore. With two years left to add on, Norby is already targeting the program’s all-time mark of 1,803, set by Katie Alsdurf in 2001.

“It’s a really good mark, but it just makes me want to work harder to get the actual record of 1,800,” Norby said. “A thousand is really good, but I just want to keep working for another thousand.”

Rise to the Top

Norby joined the Community Education program in third or fourth grade, with her father, Chance, as her head coach.

“I was probably more of a guard, but then I just started growing and the girls didn’t, so that’s when I developed my post skills,” she says.

She went on to play in the Forest Lake Hoops Club and also joined an AAU team out of the Twin Cities as a sixth-grader. Norby’s Minnesota Stars squad took third place at nationals last summer. She and fellow Suburban East Conference member Sydney Lamberty of Park are among four team members to crack the 1,000-point barrier as sophomores this winter.

Norby’s varsity career began as an eighth-grader. Fittingly, her first points – like her 1,000th – were scored in Cambridge. She broke out with a 22-point effort in that season’s section semifinal as the Rangers nearly shocked top-seeded St. Francis.

Last winter, Norby earned team co-MVP and all-conference honors.

Bailey Norby had her way in the post for much of the sectional in Cambridge last week. (Photo by Clint Riese)

This year, Norby enjoyed her first winning season as the Rangers went 16-12. The improvement coincided with her expanding role both on the floor and behind the scenes.

“I’m definitely gaining more confidence, which is a good thing for me on the court,” she says. “I’m gaining those leadership skills that I needed…I’m not the baby, so I’m not scared anymore.

“[Coach Jen] Wagner says the team vibe is off how I feel, so I feel like I always have to be positive and a leader and vocal out there.”

Indeed, Norby would have passed for a senior in last week’s playoff game, both for scoring 25 points and for the way she handled scoring her 1,000th point.

“I wasn’t really worried about it because I knew I had a lot of time to get it,” she says. “I was more worried about getting the win. I didn’t want to be selfish at all, I just wanted to help my team get the W.”

Big Goals

With a talented and young supporting cast around Norby, the Rangers should have the chance to push farther into the postseason in the next two years. Meanwhile, Norby will likely find her way into the team record books. Besides the all-time scoring mark, she is on pace to crush the program’s career rebounding mark of 693.

The dream of playing at a big, out-of-state university also continues to motivate Norby. She is currently working on her outside game in order to take advantage of her above-average speed and agility for a post player. She is also a track and field thrower, which provides an opportunity to add upper-body strength.

Norby is considering going into architecture. As for choosing where to study it, she can rest easy for two reasons: she will have plenty of choices, and time is on her side.