It was a milestone everybody in the Magic Dome knew was eventually going to happen. It was just the way it happened that had the Williamsport faithful standing and cheering for one of its hardest working players.
Prior to entering Saturday's Williamsport Showcase, Jahad Thomas knew his was just 16 points shy of reaching his 1,000th point. And after the pressure of reaching the accomplishment drifted away, Thomas zoned in to break at 48-all tie in the fourth quarter.
Thomas posted six points, including his 1,000, to help complete a 10-0 run to bury visiting Bartram, 71-58.
Williamsport’s Isaiah Washington shoots as Michael Watkins?defends Saturday at Williamsport High School.
"It was all about effort and execution," Williamsport coach Allen Taylor said of the 10-0 run in the fourth quarter. "In the second half we did a lot better job of scrambling and making sure we made their guys drivers instead of shooters. They started to miss shots and we were able to get shots in transition. That's what kind of opened it up."
Malik Noel connected on the game-tying three in the fourth quarter. The basket came on the heels of his 20-point effort through the second and third quarters. Noel matched Thomas' game-high of 25 points, but it was Thomas who excelled in the crucial moments to give the Millionaires the win.
Thomas scored 11 of his 25 points over the final eight minutes, including six consecutive. The scoring surge also featured his 1,000 point, which fittingly came on a breakaway dunk.
"That's what he does," Taylor said of the dunk. "He gets a fastbreak and gets the crowd excited and usually throws it down. I was happy for him."
The milestone appeared in jeopardy midway through the second quarter when Thomas was charged with a technical for slapping the backboard. The matter was then compounded when his nose started to bleed and he was forced to go to the locker room.
"The technical foul wasn't anything he did intentionally. I've never seen a technical foul called on that," Taylor said. "He was a little upset about the technical, but after that he responded well. He came out in the second half and kept his emotions under control."
"I didn't want to let the refs control the game," Thomas said. "I just wanted to control the game and adjust to them."
And Thomas quickly made the adjustment.
After being limited to just four points in the first half, Thomas scored 21 in the second half and broke open the game with his fourth quarter run.
"Going into the first quarter I was kind of out of it, because I thought there was a lot of pressure for me to get to 1,000 points," Thomas said. "Now, I'm past that and I can focus on the next game."
Khayri Washington 7 0-0 16, James Suder 1 1-2 1, Gerald Everast 0 0-0 0, Michael Watkins 3 1-2 7, Damontay Thomas 1 0-1 2, Malik Noel 10 3-3 25, Terriech Williams 3 1-2 7. Totals 24 6-10 58.
Jahad Thomas 10 5-6 25, Herb Stelly 0 0-0 0, Tyler Gardner 0 0-0 0, Brice Harris 0 0-0 0, Thomas Ross 2 0-0 4, Isaiah Washington 5 5-6 16, Achilles Watson 1 1-2 3, Brandon Fedoriw 1 0-0 3, Chris Kinley 5 10-11 20. Totals 24 21-25 71.
John Bartram 9 17 19 13 - 58
Williamsport 11 16 21 23 - 71
3-Point goals: John Bartram: 4 (Washington 2, Noel 2), Williamsport 2 (Washington, Fedoriw)
Records: Williamsport 15-2, Bartram 11-11 Next game: Williamsport at State College (Tuesday)