The 1,000-point individual milestone in high school basketball has proven to be a significant accomplishment no matter how long it takes a player to get there.
But two of Eastern Maine’s top schoolboy players surpassed 1,000 career points on back-to-back nights over the weekend — doing so in just their third seasons of varsity competition while leading their teams to postseason contention.
Nokomis of Newport junior Chris Braley scored his 1,000th point during the Warriors’ 56-41 victory over Waterville on Friday night. The 6-foot-3 guard needed 16 points to reach the magic number entering the contest and finished the night with 20 to bring his total to 1,004 in just 50 games, an average of 20.1 points per game for his career.
Braley became the 10th Nokomis player and fifth Warriors’ schoolboy player to eclipse 1,000 points, joining Phil Ripton, Jeff White, Ryan McLellan, Luke Hayden, Pam Gee, Laura Grumbach, Kelly Bowman, Danielle Clark and Kelly Paradis.
Braley is the third Nokomis junior to reach 1,000 points, joining McLellan and Clark, both in 2002.
Nokomis, which made its last postseason appearance in 2003, was 8-6 and ranked eighth in Eastern Maine Class B under head coach Carl Parker entering Tuesday night’s game at Mount View of Thorndike.
Joe McCloskey, a 6-foot-7 senior center from Penobscot Valley of Howland, joined Braley in the 1,000-point club on Saturday with a 40-point outburst during the Howlers’ 64-52 win over Stearns of Millinocket.
McCloskey, who played junior varsity basketball at Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln as a freshman before transferring to Penobscot Valley, now has 1,032 points in 53 varsity games spanning three seasons with the Howlers after one of the top individual performances of his career for coach Jamie Russell’s club.
McCloskey made 18 of 24 field-goal attempts and also grabbed eight rebounds as PVHS bested Stearns in a battle of top-five teams in Eastern Maine Class C.
That win, combined with victories earlier in the week over Schenck of East Millinocket and Penquis of Milo, moved the Howlers into first place in the Eastern C standings pending their next scheduled game at Piscataquis of Guilford on Wednesday.
McCloskey became the eighth Penobscot Valley player — and fifth boy — to score 1,000 points, joining Mark Pelkey, Mike Austin, Mitchell Doyon, Scott Bates, Tammy Dube, Vicki Mazerall and Meagan Cyr.
McCloskey currently is averaging 23.2 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots per game this season for the 12-3 Howlers.
Adams sets EL win mark
Edward Little of Auburn boys basketball coach Mike Adams set a school record for career coaching wins with a 71-56 win over Brewer last week.
The win was the 143rd for Adams since he took over at EL in 2002, surpassing the 142 won by Bill Skinner between 1912 and 1925.
Adams went on to get coaching win No. 144 with EL’s 56-29 victory over Messalonskee of Oakland on Friday night. The Red Eddies, 13-1 and ranked third in Eastern Maine Class A this season, were to host Oxford Hills of South Paris on Tuesday evening.
Adams entered that game with a 144-53 coaching record at EL, with back-to-back Eastern A championships in 2009 and 2010.
Adams got into coaching after a standout playing career at Mt. Blue of Farmington — where he was Maine’s 1990 Mr. Basketball — and at Thomas College in Waterville.
Cheverus on a roll
The Cheverus of Portland boys basketball team has won two of the last three Class A state championships, and there’s little so far this season to suggest that the Stags are anything less than a solid favorite to win another gold ball.
Coach Bob Brown’s club is atop the Western A standings with a 13-0 record after Saturday’s 70-43 victory over Portland — and no other team in the division has fewer than three losses.
The Stags are outscoring their opposition by nearly 24 points per game. They average 60.5 points per game while allowing just 36.8 points an outing, and have yet to allow more than 51 points in any game this winter heading into Tuesday night’s game against 2-9 Gorham.
Junior guard Louie DiStasio leads a deep and balanced Cheverus offense with 12.8 points per contest, while other key contributors are 6-foot-5 junior Griffin Brady, senior forward Peter Gwilym and 6-9 sophomore Matt Cimino.
Since the start of the 2007-08 season, Cheverus has a combined regular-season and tournament record of 72-5.
Free throw finalists set
The field for the state free-throw shooting contest, to be held Saturday, March 12, at Husson University in Bangor as part of Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star Basketball Weekend, has been established through qualifying rounds held at four locations around the state.
The boys finalists are Travis Dyer of Presque Isle, who made 45 of 50 shots during the North region qualifier; Bryan James of Lee Academy, 45 of 50 at the East qualifier; Josh Turbide of Dirigo of Dixfield, 46 of 50 at the Central qualifier; and Theo Bowe of Cape Elizabeth, 49 of 50 at the South qualifier.
Girls finalists are North winner Carmen Bragg of Washburn (43 of 50), East winner Abby Pyne of John Bapst of Bangor (46 of 50), Central winner Danielle Spaulding of Lawrence of Fairfield (44 of 50) and South winner Frankie Lally of Edward Little of Auburn (46 of 50).