It was a milestone moment for one of the best boys basketball players in the history of the Jonathan Alder High School.
A floater in the lane that bounced around the rim before it softly fell through the net, giving the Pioneers a 26-16 second quarter lead over visiting West Jefferson Friday, Dec. 30. The basket was one of many on the night in a dominating 66-35 Alder win, but it was also the moment senior Andrew Koenig scored his 1,000th career point.
Koenig became just the fourth player in school history to reach the mark. On the night he scored a game-high 22 points and helped the Pioneers breakout of a shooting slump.
“Just going into the game I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself, I just wanted to play the game and let the shots come to me,” Koenig said. “It’s nice to get your feet wet in the beginning, seeing the ball go through the hoop. Once you see it go through you kind of get it going.”
Koenig entered the game 15 points short the milestone and it didn’t take long for him to make his presence felt. He scored the Pioneers opening bucket and converted a three-point play to put Alder up 10-6. He connected on a shot from beyond the three-point line to close out the first quarter with eight points and a 16-9 Pioneers advantage.
A second quarter layup and a three-pointer early in the second quarter set the stage for the big moment.
“I couldn’t have done this with all my teammates over the years, I’ve played with some good guys,” Koenig said. “I guess playing for four years and being healthy has helped me get to this point.”
Alder began to pull away thanks in large part to another Koenig. Sophomore Jacob scored 18 points including a pair of three-point bombs just before the half to give Alder a 34-21 advantage at the break.
The Pioneers (4-4) pulled away in the third quarter outscoring the visitors 22-5 in the third quarter. Both Koenig brothers stayed hot and Cameron Androw and Jaron Wheelbarger found the range from distance helping to put the Roughriders away. For the game the Pioneers hit a season-high 12 three-pointers, putting a smile on coach Brent Cahill’s face.
“I’ve been here six years and we hit 11 once, hitting 12 threes from a number of different guys,” Cahill said. “We had five guys hit threes. It was good to see. We’ve been offensively challenged at times this year. We have to hit from the perimeter to win because we don’t have a ton of size.”
In addition to the Koenig brothers who combined for 40 points. The Pioneers got 12 from Wheelbarger and five from Androw.
West Jefferson (4-4) didn’t have a player in double figures but had balanced scoring. Lance Lambert and Shane Gray scored eight points apiece, while Jared Vermillion and Scotty Hunter had six each.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.