Scott nets 1,000th point in Tigers win
STRUTHERS – Seventeen points separated Wellsville junior Nate Scott from career point number 1,000 entering Saturday night’s Division IV sectional final.
With a basket at 6:09 of the fourth quarter, Scott eclipsed the milestone in leading the top-seeded Tigers past Western Reserve, 62-46, at the Struthers Fieldhouse.
“I had no clue and then the referee stopped the game and told me, ‘You just scored your 1,000th point,'” said Scott, who finished with 23 points. “I couldn’t do it without my teammates and coaches. My teammates get hot and that helps me.”
The junior guard is averaging 21.5 points a game this season, and in his last outing against Western Reserve, torched the Blue Devils for 30 points.
“They’re a good team, but my teammates just kick it out to me,” Scott said. “I never want to get frustrated out there because if I do, then I won’t play as well. I just want to keep my head in the game and once I see one go through it just builds confidence.”
Wellsville improves to 20-3 and will take on third-seeded Lowellville at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in a district semifinal. Lowellville defeated Lake Center Christian, 50-41, in Saturday’s nightcap.
“We’ve played both of them and beat them,” Wellsville coach Dave Thompson said. “We played Lake Center in the tournament and beat them. We beat Lowellville twice this year.”
Western Reserve wanted to come into Saturday’s game slow things down against a high-octane Wellsville offense. The Blue Devils’ venture proved unsuccessful.
“We are sending three people back in transition and they’re still beating us down the floor,” Western Reserve coach Tim King said. “We are running to the paint and they’re spotting up for three-point shots. They are a really good offense of team and you know what, they are a good defensive team too.”
Wellsville’s defense set the tone early for the rest of the night. The Tigers forced six turnovers in the first quarter alone. Offensively, the Tigers pushed the issue and maximized the Blue Devils’ mistakes by running the floor.
“That’s what we wanted to do, push the tempo and not get into a half court game,” Thompson said. “We wanted to push the issue. Nate got out and ran the floor tonight and played well.”
If there was an Achilles’ heel for the Tigers, it came on the offensive glass. Wellsville allowed Western Reserve’s first six points to come on second chance opportunities.
“We just got on a couple guys about not boxing out because they were standing there watching instead of putting a body on them,” Thompson said. “Once we started getting a body on them we were fine. We didn’t rebound in the first quarter.”
Jordan Sloan and Camden Douglas each tallied nine points for the Tigers. Douglas also had six rebounds.
The Tigers’ season sweep of Western Reserve comes on the heels of the Blue Devils’ opening round victory over Heartland Christian. Despite two wins against Western Reserve earlier this year, Thompson knew what he could expect from King’s group.
“It’s hard when you’re playing against a coach (Tim King) like that because you never know what he’s going to do, he has a lot of experience,” Thompson said. “They have more confidence I think the kids think they already beat them so they know they can beat them. They weren’t worried but I was. The kids came out and played though.”
Dalton Korda paced the Blue Devils with 11 points. Joe Wisniewski added nine points and Joe Falasca eight.
“I’m very pleased with my four seniors they have played hard all year long, they were in some tough circumstances we weren’t winning a lot of games,” King said. “And a lot of times, you tend to lose your senior kids. But my four seniors stuck it out and played hard the whole year and I’m very happy about that.”
After Wellsville secured its first Inter-Tri County League lower tier title in five years, the junior-laden group sets it’s sights on continuing to move on in the tournament with no intention on letting off the gas.
“We just run in practice so we have the ability to run with anyone,” Scott said. “Our best offense is our defense; fast break, get the rebound and go. That’s our best offense.”
Michael Johnston was the last player to surpass the 1,000-point mark for the Tigers in 2011.
Western Reserve finished the season at 9-15, including three losses to Wellsville.
Wellsville defeated Lowellville 57-48 and 54-47 in ITCL play this season.
Ticket’s for Tuesday night’s game will be on sale Monday and Tuesday in the Wellsville High School office.