"I was glad it happened then," O'Connor said. "I could focus on the tournament. It was a weight lifted off my shoulders. I didn't have to think about an individual goal anymore."
Anyone who knows O'Connor, who will graduate with 11 varsity letters, can imagine the strain she was under. Far from a selfish player as evidenced by the six assists per game she averaged, said chasing 1,000 "was stressing me out."
O'Connor became the ninth Whippany Park girls player to surpass 1,000 points. She reached it with one minute left in the Wildcats' North Jersey Section 2, Group I first-round game, hitting a 3-point shot off an inbounds pass.
Her final totals in that game are evidence of her all-around abilities - 20 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals.
"With Lauren in the program, we've had 20 or more wins each year she's been a starter," Whippany Park coach Tom Wilson said. "She's been our primary ballhandler for three years. She does a tremendous job getting the rest of the kids involved.
"Over the last two years, Lauren has become more of a scoring threat. She's not always looking to pass but to score and has been attacking the basket."
O'Connor, who concluded her basketball career with 1,064 points, posed for pictures to commemorate her accomplishment. She also received flowers, the game ball and balloons.
Her athletic endeavors in the spring will take place outdoors. She'll throw the javelin and try to repeat as sectional champion.
Not only does O'Connor excel in three sports - the other one is soccer - she is a top student and is in the top five in her class. She plans to major in international business in college.
Although O'Connor is busy year-round, she doesn't regret playing three sports.
"I just go from one season to the next," she said. "I've always played a lot of sports so I'm used to it. I never wanted to give up two sports to focus on one."
Records for Lakers' Reese
Katie Reese, a senior guard, concluded her career at Mountain Lakes with an abundance of records.
Reese, who will attend Manhattan College, had most points in a game (33), most points in a season (551), most points in a career (1,602), most free throws made and attempted in a season (184 of 251), most foul shots made and attempted in a career (487 of 669) and the top single-season scoring average (20.4).
North-South Game on March 18
The North-South Girls All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, March 18 at Rider University at 2:30 p.m.
Eight girls from Morris and Sussex were selected. They are Chatham's Amanda Berntsen, Jefferson's Sammy Lapszynski, Morristown-Beard's Tatiana Johnson, Mountain Lakes' Katie Reese, Pequannock's Samantha Tabakman, Pope John's Alexis Breheny, West Morris' Shayna Ericksen and Whippany Park's Olivia Dudley.
The boys game is scheduled for noon at the same site.
Morris All-Star Game on March 24
The Morris County Girls Basketball Coaches Association Senior All-Star Games are set for Saturday, March 24 at Mountain Lakes High School.
In order to accommodate a large number of players, two games will be held. Times are 6 and 7:30 p.m.