The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Cory Isenberg

January 24, 2010

CORY ISENBERG | Milestone has meaning

JOHNSTOWN — In 2003, I wrote a column regarding the 1,000-point scoring milestone for high school basketball players.

In that article, I said that because of the 3-point field goal and the four-year athletic eligibility of boys and girls, that 1,000-point scorers were becoming more prolific.

I went on to point out that each individual’s achievements were important to them and their loved ones, but maybe it was time to focus more on team accomplishments.

I was not really trying to say anything against those who had hit 1,000 points, I was just stating a fact: That there were more players who had scored 1,000 than there used to be.

While many individuals will disagree anonymously on random message boards with a stance or suggestion in a column, after that particular column I had a young lady from Cambria Heights, Danielle Lantzy, approach me at a basketball game. She politely inquired to make sure of my identity and then told me why she thought that I was wrong.

Lantzy, who hit the

1,000-point milestone with the Highlanders, had taken exception to the column headline (which I don’t write): ‘A thousand no longer so grand.’

She told me that she felt that reaching 1,000 points was important not just for her, but for the rest of the team and that it set a standard for future players.

Lantzy was very polite and stated her case well.

I thanked her for her input, explaining that I was not belittling any athlete that had achieved that goal in their career and our ways parted.

Over the years there have been dozens and dozens of athletes who have hit the

1,000-point goal as well as those who have gone over 2,000 and those who have set career records in points, rebounds, assists and steals.

Each time it happens, I can understand how exciting it is and it should bring a thrill of success and achievement to that individual and pride to their family and school.

I’m always excited for each athlete and hope that they can enjoy their moment and am happy when I have a chance to highlight those players.

Conemaugh Valley senior guard Taylor Gruss just reached the 1,000-point mark on Tuesday night when the Blue Jays squared off against Windber.

Gruss, who was an Associated Press Class A second-team selection last year, was as relieved about achieving the milestone as most of the players are.

Her path to the mark has been fraught with obstacles throughout her career.

She had hoped to reach the milestone earlier this season, but a concussion kept her out of action for several weeks.

“It was nice for her to get it (1,000),” said Conemaugh Valley coach Teri Cruse after Tuesday’s game. “She’s missed a lot of games in her career.

“She was hoping she would get it before Christmas break, but this was a good game to do it. She knew she had to step up regardless. She played well.

“Her court presence makes a difference for us.”

Gruss said that she had received plenty of support from her family and that the pressure was off.

The other 1,000 point scorers thus far this season are all seniors and include: Ian Vescovi of Cambria Heights; Emily Daughery of Ligonier Valley; Cody Kushner of Conemaugh Valley; Breanna Kochinsky and Ariel Rocco of Northern Cambria; and Brooke Snyder of Berlin.

Cory Isenberg is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat


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Cory Isenberg
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