SKOWHEGAN — Garrett Quinn graduated in 1993 as Skowhegan basketball’s all-time leading scorer. Three years ago, however, he was watching freshman Jaycie Christopher play, and he told friends that his record wasn’t going to be standing for long.

“We used to talk about it,” he said. “We’d joke around and say ‘Yeah, in a few years, Jaycie’s going to have the record.’ We knew it was coming.”

It came on Tuesday, when Christopher became Skowhegan basketball’s all-time leading scorer in a win over Cony, and was recognized on Thursday, when the senior standout was given a ceremony in the moments following the River Hawks’ 67-47 victory over Gardiner, one in which Christopher scored 35 points to bring her total to a whopping 1,471.

Skowhegan fans chanted “M-V-P!” while Christopher posed with coaches and Skowhegan players past and present, including Bethany (Sevey) Shalit, one of three players in girls program history along with Christopher and Annie Cooke to reach 1,000 points, and Quinn, who scored 1,433 points to hold the record for 29 years.

“I know how hard she’s worked, and I know the kind of dedication it takes,” Quinn said. “Anybody that’s willing to put in that time deserves it, and for her, it’s a really nice personal recognition. But I know, in her heart of hearts, she wants to win a state championship and win a Gold Ball, and that’s what it’s all about.

“I couldn’t be happier for her. Great human being, great kid, great student. All the superlatives belong to her.”


In the moments after the game, Christopher was just as happy to pass those superlatives along to the people beside her for four years.

“Obviously, it feels pretty good,” she said. “There’s been a lot of really great players that I’ve played with that have made this possible, and my coaches and my family supporting me. It takes a village.”

Christopher said she arrived at the feat while chasing what has always been the top prize since her first game.

Skowhegan senior Jaycie Christopher, left, poses with Garrett Quinn after a game against Gardiner on Thursday night. Drew Bonifant/Kennebec Journal

“It’s never really something that I thought about,” she said. “My goal coming in high school has always been winning a state championship. Whatever it takes to win, that’s always what I’m trying to do. If that means score, then score. If that means guard the other team’s best player, do that. Just do whatever it takes to win.”

While Christopher didn’t have her sights set on the record, her coach wanted to help her reach it.

“It’s a huge accomplishment. It was not a goal of hers, but I made it clear to her last year that it’s a goal of mine,” Skowhegan coach Mike LeBlanc said. “Not just to leave her in the game to score, but I know how hard she works, how she tries to get her teammates so much better, that I wanted her to leave the school with something.”


The polished skill set that has allowed her to rack up those points was on display Thursday. Christopher scored 35 but never looked like she was forcing the issue, preferring often to find teammates left open by a Tigers defense that was scrambling to stop her.

“I always want to make the right play, whatever that means,” she said. “When defense helps, dish it off. When I’m out there, my mindset is ‘What can we do to get the team involved, and get the team to win?’ That’s always making the right play.”

When Christopher did go for points, she did it with with either the smooth shooting stroke that allowed her to hit six 3-pointers, or the driving ability that saw her several times go up with one hand and finish with the other to get around Gardiner defenders.

Cony’s Indiya Clarke, left, and Skowhegan’s Jaycie Christopher tip off to start a girls basketball game Tuesday in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

It’s a skill set that’s the result, in part, of physical gifts. But as LeBlanc said, it’s the product of hours and hours of work as well.

“(Wednesday) night we had practice until 8, she was probably here until a quarter to 9 with her mother doing her shooting ritual that she does,” he said. “People vibrate off (players like) that and want to become one of them because of how hard they work.”

Another person who has seen that hard work up close is Skowhegan athletic director Jon Christopher, Jaycie’s father, who joked that he’s her leading rebounder given all the practice time they’ve spent together.

“I can’t even explain how much he means to me,” she said. “I would not be half the player I am without him. Every night he rebounds for me, 700 shots. … He’s also my biggest critic, which comes with the territory, I guess. But I’m so grateful for him.”

On Thursday, Jon Christopher had a special role in his daughter’s moment as the person running the ceremony, and informing the students in attendance of what she had accomplished.

“I know all the work that’s gone into it, and she deserves it,” he said. “It’s emotional, because I’ve been the passer and the rebounder for all those shots in all those years. … I know that she put in a lot of work to be in the position that she’s in, so I’m proud of her.”

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