Justin Etts celebrated his 18th birthday in style Wednesday, scoring his 1,000th career point in the Spackenkill High School boys basketball team’s 67-56 win over host James I’ O’Neill in Highland Falls.
Going into the game Etts needed 30 points to reach 1,000 and finished with 30 points. He achieved the milestone by sinking a free-throw with nine seconds left in the fourth quarter.
“It’s an amazing accomplishment,” said Spackenkill head coach Tom Bell. “He needed 350 (points) or more at the start of the year. We thought he’d get close, but we weren’t certain he’d get it.
“He’s so consistent, he’s a hard worker, and I’m so happy for him and his family. The kid deserves everything he gets.”
Etts became the first player to reach 1,000 points for Spackenkill since Kevin Davis in 2009. Davis also reached 1,000 career points in a game at O’Neill.
“It’s pretty ironic that the last player from Spackenkill scored his 1,000th point at O’Neill,” Bell said.
Teammates Camron Abalos (14 points) and Kyiev Bennermon (11 points) contributed to the Spartans offensive effort.
Spackenkill trailed 56-55 with two minutes to go in the fourth quarter when Bennermon intercepted an inbounds pass. The steal ignited a 12-0 run by the Spartans to close the game.
On Monday at SUNY Ulster, Spackenkill (13-3) will face John A. Coleman in the Mid-Hudson Athletic League semifinals.
A.J. Martelli: 845-437-4836, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports