SCIOTOVILLE – Scoring 1,000 points in your career is something every player that plays at the high school level dreams about. The time, the effort, and the years of hard work required to position yourself to put your name among the elites in your high school’s history is what it’s all about.
It just so happens, that for two East seniors, they both made their dreams come true, in the same exact game.
In what ultimately would end as an 89-83 loss to SOC I rival Clay last Tuesday, East seniors Will Shope and Kyle Flannery both punched their ticket into the 1,000 point club at East High School, submitting their legacies forever.
“It was cool; We grew up together, we’ve been best friends since before I could remember,” said Flannery following reaching the career milestone, and what it meant to do with his teammate. “It was special, I had doubts for him (Shope) for a second, but I was happy for him that we were both able to get it.”
Those doubts only occurred because in order to break that milestone in the same Flannery who needed just eight points going into their contest with Clay, Shope need to score 24 points, a feat that was up in the air as to if he would be able to accomplish.
But, to leave little doubt, Shope got a steal halfway through the fourth quarter and finished a transition layup to put him at 1,001 career points.
“It was kind of stressful because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get it with me being injured, and then having to play behind our school’s all time leading scorer for two years,” said Shope, “It was special for me to get it, and special for me and him to get it at the same time, especially since we grew up playing together.”
Flannery and Shope combined for 63 of their team’s 83 points in the loss, shouldering much of the offensive load for the Tartans during their senior seasons. East head coach Adam Bailey discussed just how crucial their play has been during the Tartans 2018-19 campaign.
“For this year, we’ve relied heavily on them to do a lot of the scoring,” said Bailey. “When you look back on their career, they’ve been here for four years, to play in the district title game, they won an SOC title. They’re kind of the last two kids from that team, they’ve been a lot of good memories. This year, I probably would have liked to win a few more games here or there, but overall they’ve had a successful career.”
Shope has committed to play collegiate basketball at Kentucky Christian University in Grayson, Kentucky, while Flannery has plans to play collegiately at Ohio Christian University.
But before Shope and Flannery leave behind their legacy and finish their senior season, they still have unfinished business left in front of them: a trip to the Convo in Athens for the Division IV district tournament, something East hasn’t done as a program since their freshman season.
“Our mindset as players is keep doing everything I can and keep doing everything I’ve been doing, still be a leader,” said Shope, “Getting the younger kids ready for next season. As a team, I think our goal is to get to the Convo, my freshman season was pretty special, being able to hit the game winner in the district semifinals. We feel like we need to get back there, do whatever we need to do to get by anybody that we play.”
“Convo, we just want to get to the Convo one last time,” said Flannery. “We’re going to try to do whatever it takes to get there. No matter who we play, we’re just going to go out and give it our all.”
Eighth seeded East will face ninth seeded Manchester in a Division IV sectional semifinal game Wednesday night at 6:15 p.m. at Northwest HS. The winner between the Tartans and the Greyhounds will meet number one seeded New Boston in the sectional final.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT