Mother-daughter duo scores 1,000 points
By SHAWN PATRICK LEARY
Assistant Sports Editor
PITMAN -- It was a family affair at Pitman High School.
On a day Pitman retired the jerseys of former Panther stars Joe and Jon Crispin, senior
Sarah Beato joined her mother, Laura (Deal) Beato, to become the first mother-daughter duo to score 1,000 points in Gloucester County girls basketball history.
A turnaround jumper from the baseline one minute into Saturday's contest against Audubon
propelled Sarah Beato onto Pitman's list of 1,000-point scorers.
''It's something I'll never forget,'' said Beato, who needed only four points to reach the milestone entering Saturday's game against the Green Wave. ''When I was a freshman and I got some varsity time, I thought about it a little but not much more since then.''
According to her mother, Sarah did not know about the milestone until two weeks ago.
''She read that she was approaching 1,000 points by reading about it in the (Gloucester
County Times),'' said Laura Beato, who finished her career at Pitman in 1979 with 1,073
Laura Beato's approach to 1,000 came as a surprise to her as well.
''I had no idea I was even close,'' said Laura Beato. ''My dad (Jim Deal) said to me when I was a sophomore, ''You know Goldie if you keep this up you can score 1,000 points.''
That was the last time Laura talked about the milestone until a game was stopped during her senior year and the announcement came.
''They stopped the game and I didn't know why,'' Laura Beato added. ''My dad was so proud but kept it to himself until that day.''
When play was suspended to honor Sarah Beato's achievement, emotions spilled onto the
court. Saturday marked the anniversary of Jim Deal's death.
''I've thought about him every time that something good has happened on the court,'' said Beato.
Sarah Beato finished with 26 points in Pitman's 59-57 loss, but her offensive production
isn't her greatest stat. The 6-foot-2 center has taken as many points away as she has scored.
''Sarah could care less about the 1,000 points,'' said Pitman head coach Tracy Pinque. ''She cares more about the blocked shots.''
With 485 -- including 10 against Audubon -- Beato is the state record holder, according to Pinque.
''Coming into the year I thought I was an unbalanced player,'' said Beato. ''People have been
waiting for me to come out of my shell offensively. And, I can honestly say that it has been
''It's marvelous for our program and it's marvelous for her,'' said Pitman athletic director
Wayne Murschell, Sr. of Beato's achievement. ''I don't know a more wonderful kid in this
school. When any girl, from any team, falls to the court she is always the first one to pick
that person up.''