Kittanning's Henry scores his 1,000th career point
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Kittanning senior Sterling Henry's pursuit of a milestone ended with an exclamation point.
Late in the second quarter of Monday's 66-41 home win over West Shamokin, Henry, in need of one more point to reach 1,000 for his career, stole a pass in Kittanning's end and used a breakaway dunk to attain the accomplishment — just the third Wildcats player to do so.
“It was sweet,” said Henry, who, with game-high 17 points (1,012 total), also passed 1974 graduate Jake Demetrious to move into second place on the school's career scoring list. “I just wanted to get it over with. ... I was relieved.”
Henry entered the nonsection game in need of five points to hit the mark. The task seemed simple enough for the senior who averages more than 17 points per game.
A floater in the lane less than two minutes into the game started Henry off right. But an offensive struggle ensued. Members of Kittanning's student section, the “Jubilation Nation,” unleashed groans as two 3-point attempts by Henry clanked off the rim.
A layup with 5:20 left in the second quarter brought the tension to an apex. And Henry appeared ready for the big moment two minutes later when, during a drive to the hoop, he drew a foul as he tried to underhand the ball toward the basket.
“Can we get this out of the way now?” Kittanning coach Bill Henry muttered at the bench, eager to see his team extend a 16-13 lead.
But officials ruled the foul occurred before the shot attempt.
With 2:28 left until halftime, Henry poked away a West Shamokin pass across the top of the 3-point arc, raced to the other end and, safely out in front of defenders, slammed a two-hander.
Henry intended to dunk as soon as he got the steal, he said. But his coach wondered if he might settle for the safer bet, a layup.
“I thought, ‘Just lay it in and get it over with,' ” Bill Henry said. “But I guess he did it the right way.”
Kittanning's student section exploded with cheers. New Year's Eve-style hats and noisemakers emerged.
“I wasn't ready for it,” Sterling Henry said. “I didn't know it'd be that loud. It was crazy.”
The big occasion behind them, the teams turned their attention to finishing their regular-season finale in a way that would build momentum for the playoffs. Henry's dunk came in the midst of a 14-3 Kittanning run that sent the Wildcats into halftime up, 28-16.
“I think everybody was so concerned over Henry getting his 1,000 that kids felt guilty if they took a shot,” Bill Henry said.
West Shamokin closed the deficit to nine points midway through the third quarter but faded as Kittanning's bevy of 6-foot-plus players applied effective half-court pressure. Damon Craig and Anthony Rocco each finished with a team-high 12 points.
“For us, that's probably the best part of the deal,” West Shamokin coach Mike Nagy said. “If we get a tough draw, we'll probably be playing somebody of that caliber. … I thought we battled hard and hustled hard. We did the best we could with what we have.”
Both teams will learn their playoff opponents Tuesday night during the WPIAL pairings meeting.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kiski Area boys a team in transition after graduation of top scorer
- Knoch basketball team gets reinforcements
- Knoch girls seek dividends of experience
- Serra girls expecting repeat success
- Chartiers Valley boys basketball preparing for WPIAL title defense
- With star Satira gone, Serra Catholic boys basketball to rely on team effort
- WPIAL AAAA boys basketball preview: Runners-up last season, North Allegheny hopes to take next step
- Fox Chapel boys look to define roles
- Expanded roster helps boost Kiski Area girls
- Steel Valley boys put focus back on basketball
- Steel Valley girls plan to play ‘small ball’