By Garth Shanklin
While numerous fans turned out to watch Goshen High School’s game against Ross to see Tony Moore score his 1,000th career point, every fan in attendance was treated to a show by another Warrior.
Goshen’s Deonte Bailey scored 25 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Warriors, including a crucial tip-in off a missed free-throw that clinched a 66-62 win for the Warriors.
Goshen led early 12-9 after an intentional foul and miscommunication by Ross. The Rams had the ball and, instead of taking the last shot, dribbled out the first quarter clock. Goshen and Ross battled throughout the second quarter, with Ross connecting on a last-second basket to take a 27-26 lead into the half.
Goshen pulled away late in the third period, with Moore scoring on a steal and score just before the end of the third period to give the Warriors a 41-34 lead. The basket was Moore’s sixth and seventh point of the game, leaving him three shy of the 1,000 point mark entering the final period of play.
It took a bit of time, but with 3:34 on the clock Moore drained a three-point shot, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
Goshen head coach Brandon Baker said the shot not only etched Moore’s name into the Goshen record books, it also removed a metaphorical weight off both his shoulder and the senior guard’s.
“I think both he and I have some weight off our shoulders,” Baker said. “That whole game, I think in the back of his mind he’s saying ‘I’ve got to get to 10.’ When it goes late in the second half, a lot of guys would go up there and force shots. I was proud of him for playing for the team and doing what’s best for the team. A lot of times, what’s best for the team is when he gets a look, fire it up there.”
Moore said nerves were a bit of a factor, but he was easily able to describe how he felt now that he’s officially a member of the club.
“Really good,” Moore said. “I was a little nervous before the game, it got the best of me. It’s an unbelievable moment.”
As for the rest of the game, it got even more interesting after Moore’s basket. Ross chipped away at the Goshen lead, finally getting it down to three points with 1:50 remaining. Goshen added three points on free-throws, and Ross returned the favor by cutting the lead to 63-62 thanks to their own abilities at the line.
With less than 10 seconds left in the game, Goshen hit one of two free-throws, and Bailey leapt in to save the day on the final shot, tipping the miss back in to put the Warriors ahead for good by four.
Bailey led all scorers with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Moore added 11 points and three assists. Christian Kollmorgan and Kyle Proffitt both scored eight points, with Hunter Slusher chipping in seven.
Baker credited Bailey for performing well in back-to-back games, building on the team’s win over Western Brown on Jan. 26 where he pulled in 16 rebounds and scored 12 points, despite returning to practice earlier in the week after an injury that required surgery.
“He missed two games in a row,” Baker said. “The day of our New Richmond game, he was under the knife. He wasn’t cleared to sweat until Wednesday. He basically didn’t sweat from last Thursday until this Wednesday, and in our last two games he’s played well. I’m really proud of him.”
Ross was led by Ben Yeager, who scored 19 points and tallied eight rebounds. Dylan Zimmerman added 14 points, and Landon Angel chipped in 13 with 11 boards.
Baker was happy with both victories, especially the way the team was able to shut down one of Ross’ better players.
“They were really good wins,” Baker said. “That Ross team is very good, Landon Angel is an absolute stud and our guys did a very good job on him tonight. In fact, the thing I was most proud of is we stepped up and took charges. He got a few early fouls in the game and I think he missed most of the second and the third quarter. They’re a different team with him off the floor.”
Even without Angel, Baker credited the Rams’ ability to get back into the game by relying on other players to step up.
“I’ll give them credit, they stepped up and hit shots,” Baker said. “They probably had four or five guys score above their average tonight. With their best player on the bench, they had guys step up. I’m proud of our guys for getting it done.”
With Moore becoming the second player at Goshen in less than three days to score 1,000 career points, the campus is buzzing with basketball pride. Baker coached Paige Garr, who cracked 1,000 two days prior to Moore, as a freshman and sophomore the last two seasons before moving to the boys’ team this year.
“It’s been a fun week here at Goshen,” Baker said. “Those are two great kids that put a ton of time in the offseason working, there’s a reason both of them are in the 1,000 point club.”
Goshen will honor both Garr and Moore before the team’s next home game, which is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m. against Batavia.