By Ted Waddell
GRAHAMSVILLE January 17, 2003 On the way to his teams lopsided victory over the visiting Wildcats of Livingston Manor on Wednesday night, Tri-Valleys Kyle Humphrey crashed through the 1,000 point barrier.
In the opening seconds of what turned out to be a hotly-contested non-league game, Humphrey set the tone of the battle by swishing one through the rim from outside the three-point arc, giving the Bears a lead which they never relinquished.
As the packed house erupted with an opening round of cheers, a no-nonsense referee called a technical foul on Manors spark plug Travis Morton for what he deemed an inappropriate comment tossed off to Humphrey, whom Morton, a senior, was assigned to guard in a man-to-man defensive plan.
Humphrey stepped up to the foul line and made one of two shots, putting T-V (6-5) up 4-0 at the 7:22 mark of the first period.
From then on, it was like a walk in the park for the Bears as they raced across the court to post a 94-35 win over Manor (2-6).
Humphrey was aided in the quest to break the 1,000-point plateau by a fired up Bears defense and an offense that funneled the ball to him at every sure-fire scoring opportunity.
About two minutes or so into the third period, Humphrey got his 1,000th point. During the next couple of minutes of court time, he added another three points to finish the contest with a game-high 29 points.
Coming into the game, he had amassed a total of 974 points in three years of varsity basketball under the leadership of Coach Jason Semo. His varsity total currently stands at 1,003 points.
Stats from the free throw line: TVCS 15/18 (83%); LMCS 9/23 (39%).
Other Bears who scored at least 10 points in the game were Brenton Smith (16), Zac Bright (12) and Martin Henry-Lester (10).
Patrick Branning led Manor (2-6) in the scoring column. The junior center netted eight points on the night.
During his time on the polished hardwood floor, Humphrey seemed to float effortlessly towards the ceiling as he scored from the three-point line. Not to be content with outside shooting, he battled for possession under the boards to get his fair share of up close and personal, in-your-face points.
Bright had a good game, electrifying the hometown crowd as he fired the ball back and forth with whippet-like speed to set up scoring opportunities.
Hes all guts, said Semo.
Henry-Lester used his height to advantage, breaking through a determined Manor defense to score or grabbing it off the boards.
We played a very good defensive game, said Semo. Our goal going in was to increase our defense, and the kids all played as one out there. I am very happy with how they played.
Semo also credited the aggresive, never-say-die attitude of the Wildcats.
Manor never put their heads down, he said. They played with class the entire game . . . it was a tough situation to be in [because] the crowd was really into it, and I give [the] Livingston Manor Coach [Rich Robinson] a lot of credit for keeping up the composure of his kids. Even though the score didnt show it, they played a hard game.
Our two big guys, Brenton Smith and Martin Henry-Lester, did a great job on the boards, and Zac Bright and Travis Wolfe did an outstanding job putting pressure on their guards, he added.
Semos reaction to Humphrey breaking the 1,000 high school varsity hoops barrier?
Im real proud of Kyle, he said. Above all else, he is one of those kids who deserves everything he achieves here . . . hes worked so hard the past three years.
Robinson was unavailable for a post-game interview.