ICARD — Following the graduation of standout Lauren Arney in 2014, her younger sister Brooke followed her footsteps two years later with the East Burke girls basketball program.
The younger Arney saw the Lady Cavaliers ascend to ever greater heights since her freshman season on the hardwood, along with participating in three other sports during her four years.
For those reasons, Brooke Arney was named EBHS female co-athlete of the year along with receiving EBHS’ inaugural Under Armour Women of Will award.
“Before I came to East Burke, I set myself some goals and was afraid of not achieving them and living up to Lauren’s reputation,” said Arney. “I feel like I have achieved everything I wanted to, and I’m so honored (to receive this award).”
The biggest part of her legacy on the Lady Cavs basketball team was her scoring presence, finishing with 57 career games reaching double figures, including a career-high 30 points as a sophomore versus Monroe in the third round of the 2A state playoffs.
“(Brooke) had what it takes to win (ball games),” said EB girls basketball coach Crystal Bartlett.
All four Lady Cavalier teams Arney was on set school records for consecutive 20-win seasons (4) and most wins (27; 16-17, 17-18) as well as overall (18, 16-17) and conference (42, 1/3/17-) game winning streaks to produce three straight conference regular season and tournament championships.
She also rewrote the school record book for 3-pointers made in a career (249), season (84; 2018-19) and game (eight; 2017-18, vs. Hibriten).
“Brooke always came up big and hit big shots for us,” said Bartlett. “I always felt confident as a coach we could stay in any game if she was hitting shots. She was confident enough to be that go-to player.”
Her first game as a Lady Cavs player was a 15-point performance vs. Erwin, all off five 3s. She hangs her hat on scoring 25 points each in crucial playoff matchups with Newton-Conover and Mountain Heritage.
“I feel blessed because not everybody got to achieve what we did with my best friend (Ariana Hawkins),” said Arney.
Arney capped it all off this year by being named county and conference player of the year, averaging a county-best 16 points per game and ranking second in assist (3.6) and steal (2.4, tie) averages.
She was named to both the all-conference and all-county lists three times, receiving the 2018 conference tournament MVP award and being named to the all-district second team this season.
On the soccer field, Arney totaled 12 career goals and four assists including a hat trick vs. Draughn in her freshman season and two assists vs. Freedom as a sophomore. She also earned the team’s best defender award the last two seasons with an all-conference honor as a junior.
“Her hard work stood out on the court as well as the field,” said first-year Lady Cavalier soccer coach Sabrina Powell. “It has been a privilege to coach this young lady, and she is very deserving of this honor.”
Arney also participated in girls tennis as a freshman, gaining two doubles wins, and in girls golf her last two years, with a season-best score of 58 this past fall at Hampton Heights.
Arney plans to attend UNC-Wilmington and will be studying business administration.
Jason Baker can be reached at email@example.com.