For everything that Eli Brooks has accomplished in his career with the Spring Grove boys’ basketball team, it was only a matter of time until he became the program’s all-time leading scorer.
Entering his senior season, Brooks needed 151 points to match Jared Smith’s scoring record of 1,676 points. Through the Rockets’ first six games, Brooks trimmed the deficit to only two points.
On Wednesday night against Warwick in the Warwick Holiday Tournament, Brooks finally surpassed Smith’s scoring mark, becoming Spring Grove’s all-time leading scorer.
"It was always a dream of mine," he said after Wednesday' game. "Looking up at the banner my freshman year, I always knew I wanted to be the leading scorer, but my dad (head coach James Brooks) made sure I did it the right way and my teammates have helped me out along the way."
It didn’t take long for Brooks to set the scoring mark, banging home a 3-pointer on the Rockets’ opening possession to eclipse Smith’s record, which he set in 1993. The 3-pointer gave Brooks career point 1,677. Sitting within a bucket of breaking the record, Spring Grove set up a designed play to open the game to give Brooks a shot at breaking the mark. Brooks said that had he not made the opening 3-pointer, the team would've settled into the game and just played basketball, letting the record come whenever it did.
Brooks finished the game with 25 points in the Rockets' 71-57 win, improving to 5-2 on the year.
Brooks, who is committed to the University of Michigan, got to the mark by averaging 24.8 points per game through the team's first six contests this season entering Wednesday night. His 25-point performance was slightly above his per-game average for the season and he's the leading scorer in the York-Adams League with 174 points in seven games.
Brooks now sits at 1,696 career points after Wednesday's game, and, if he continues to average around 25 points per game the rest of the season, could eclipse 2,000 career points by the time his career ends.
"I think my biggest accomplishment is getting a free (college) education," he said about where the scoring record ranks. "That was something that my parents really strived on, but I would have to say this would rank in the top three."
Spring Grove scored 19 points in each of the first three quarters to build an 11-point cushion going into the fourth. After Warwick cut the lead to as little as six midway through the final quarter, the Rockets pulled away in the fourth to secure the 14-point win.
Grant Sterner helped out on the offensive end by chipping in with 14 points, while Austin Panter added 12. In total, seven different players scored for Spring Grove.
West York 54, Elizabethtown 53: At Elizabethtown, the Bulldogs needed every one of Kenton Meckley’s game-high 23 points to win their Elizabethtown Tournament opener. Meckley nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs the win, completing a comeback that saw the Bulldogs down by nine points to begin the fourth quarter. West York will face Bishop McDevitt in Thursday's final. McDevitt beat Central Dauphin, 72-47.
York High 61, Largo 46: At McCaskey, the Bearcats led 29-19 at the half and went on to capture the second game of the McCaskey Round Robin Tournament. Jeremiah McCarter led the Bearcats (3-5) with 11 points. Teammate Jayden Iturmendi knocked in 10 points.
Kennard-Dale 68, Tulpehocken 35: At Fawn Grove, the Rams held the visitors to just one point in the opening quarter, building a 20-point lead to advance to the championship game of the Kennard-Dale Holiday Tournament. Adam Freese was lights out for K-D, dropping 26 points, including four 3-pointers. Donnell Williams added 11 points for the hosts. K-D will face Columbia in Thursday's title game. Columbia routed Hanover, 68-41.
York Country Day 97, Berks Christian 62: At Antietam, the Greyhounds brought home the Antietam Holiday Tournament championship. DeAireus Brown had a game-high 40 points for YCD, while Jordan Ray record a double-double, posting 16 points and 14 rebounds, earning him tournament MVP. D.J. Hamilton and Brown were both named to the all-tournament team.
Central York 71, Nazareth 46: At Hempfield, Central York used a balanced scoring attack to secure the consolation game of the Hempfield Tournament. Landyn Ray led the Panthers with 17 points, while Carter Luckenbaugh added 15 points, Niko Sobestanovich chipped in 13 points and Cade Pribula collected 12 points for the Panthers.
Northeastern 62, East Pennsboro 43: The Bobcats (9-0) remained unbeaten with a win over the host school in the East Pennsboro Holiday Tournament title game. No other details were reported.
Dover 58, Red Lion 49: In a non-tournament game, the Eagles beat a York County foe. Dover improved to 7-1. No other details were reported.
Northern York 67, Susquehannock 52: In the Middletown Tournament consolation game, the Warriors suffered the loss. No other details were reported.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org