WELLSBURG - Though just a junior, Brooke's Angela Staffileno has felt like she's been a leader on the girls basketball team for the last two years.
"I think most of the girls look up to me," Staffileno said.
It's not just because she's a good three or four inches taller than any other Bruin.
But, soon enough, Staffileno won't have any more looking up to do in the Brooke record books.
The 6-foot-1 forward scored the 1,000th point of her career on Dec. 17 in a 59-49 win over Buckeye Local.
"I wasn't aware of how close I was until a couple of games before," Staffileno said. "I was trying my best throughout the game to get there.
"I was watching the scoreboard and took a hookshot in the lane in the second quarter."
She scored 24 of her 32 points in the first half against the Panthers.
"My team did their best to get me the ball in the first half," Staffileno said. "Every possession, they were trying to work it down to me."
The girls program's all-time leading scorer is Heather Brown, a 1998 graduate and former standout at Marshall.
"Angela will have the school record in points by the end of the year," said third-year Bruins coach Ryan Scherich, who estimates that Staffileno is second or third in the ranks. "She's one in a million. There may not be another girl who comes through here like her."
Staffileno has set a goal to score 2,000 points by the end of her senior year. With at least 35 games left in her high school career - it's a likely accomplishment.
"She does a lot more for us besides scoring," Scherich said. "She handles the ball and grabs rebounds. She's a great team player. I'd like her to be a little more selfish, but that's not the player she is."
Confidence has been a key factor in Staffileno's development. Starting as a freshman in the first varsity game of the year - a road contest at Parkersburg South in 2011 - helped that and solidified her passion for basketball.
"I played pretty well and realized that it was something I really wanted to do and make the most of it," she said.
Colleges have already contacted her and she plans on playing at the next level, though she isn't set on a particular school. In the meantime, Staffileno has gotten a leg up in competition by playing AAU ball with the NSBC Rampage, a team out of Morgantown.
"It helps a lot," she said. "We work on a lot of fundamentals and focus on some intense situations. The coaches are preparing us for the next level and it helps that they've shown us a lot already."
Blue Star Media, a national prep basketball recruiting site, scouted Staffileno's traveling team this summer at a showcase in Hershey, Pa.
"You see a deceptively agile and physically strong individual capable on the block but also competent away from the rim," Blue Star Media wrote about Staffileno. "On the catch she can create down low and from the 12 to 15 foot range or call on some sound ballhandling.
"One more very appealing facet of her game was her willingness to play physical, a trait that will serve her well in her promising future."
Scherich and his staff have played a big part in tweaking her skills, too.
"They've helped me fix a lot of things along the way," Staffileno said.
The Bruins have only earned 10 wins in the past two and a half seasons, but that doesn't derail Scherich's optimism or hope for Staffileno's bright future on the hardwood.
"She goes above and beyond to try and get better," Scherich said. "She puts the time and effort in that I wish any player that plays basketball would put in."