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home : sports : today's n-t sports   August 1, 2014

1/22/2013 11:15:00 AM
Yucus: 1,000 reasons to smile

Chris Yucus
Staff Writer

This basketball season your humble narrator has had the chance to watch two of the area’s most talented scorers reach the 1,000-point mark for their varsity basketball careers.

On Dec. 14th, I was in attendance at Red Devil Gymnasium as Fieldcrest guard Brady Sanders broke the 1,000-point barrier in a win over Hall to help the Knights reach the finals of the Colmone Classic.

Last Friday, the hardwood at Hall was again a scene for history as I watched senior standout Brett Fanning write his name in the Red Devil record books with a 24-point outing to make it past the 1,000-point milestone.

Fanning and Sanders are two of the best scorers I’ve seen since I started covering prep sports full time in the 2008-9 season.

The duo is deadlier driving than a text-messaging octogenarian, and both will bomb a long-range jumper if open. But the opposition doesn’t lose them frequently. In fact, they usually get more attention than an only child.

But that’s the way it is for standout scorers — if you’re going to score 1,000, you’ve got to be tough.

Often, defenders adapt the “if you can’t beat ’em, foul ’em” philosophy, which results in Sanders and Fanning spending more time on the line than a pair of wet jeans.

Through the first 16 games this season, Sanders has connected on 98-of-109 free-throw attempts, good for 90 percent shooting from the charity stripe. Through his first 18 games, Fanning has hit 103-of-128 free throws (80 percent).

In all, Sanders has collected 31.8 percent of his 308 points at the line, while Fanning has scored 28.6 percent of his 360 total tallies on free throws.

While I had the pleasure of watching the two standout scorers make their milestone baskets, they’re not the only new members to the area 1,000-point club.

Fieldcrest junior Haley Reustman also earned the honor this season at the Lady Bruins Christmas Classic, becoming the second-ever girl in FHS hoops history to accomplish the feat.

Talking with Eric Bryant Jr. about the history of Hall 1,000-point scorers after Fanning’s game Friday, he shared a quip from his father Eric Sr.

“Dad said back in his day it wasn’t such a big deal; they had somebody score 1,000 in one season,” Bryant Jr. said.

That somebody was DePue legend Ron Zagar. In his senior year of 1956-57, the former Little Giant all-stater posted an incredible 1,014 points, which still stands as the 14th-best season in IHSA history. (Zagar finished his career with 2,515 points).

That’s more points than a weight watcher’s Big Mac meal. I can’t wait to see if it will ever be bested.

And hopefully, if it does, I will to have the chance to be there.

Chris Yucus can be reached at 220-6995 or at Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsChris.

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