With a milestone in front of him, Council Rock North's Aaron Morgan struggled early in Tuesday night's Suburban One League National Conference hoops matchup against Abington.
The senior combination guard made only one of his first six field-goal attempts.
"Sometimes you think about it too much, and shots don't fall," he said. "You have to relax. I knew it would come."
Morgan's 1,000th career point did come, late in the first half. On a jumper with 26.2 seconds to go before intermission, the 5-foot-10, 175-pounder became the 11th player in program history to eclipse the grand mark.
"I wanted to get that out of the way as fast as possible so we could concentrate on getting the win," he said.
With Morgan producing 18 points, including four three-pointers, the host Indians overcame a 12-point deficit and turned back the Galloping Ghosts, 65-56, in Newtown.
Said C.R. North coach Derek Wright: "I told him afterward, 'There's nothing better than getting your 1,000th point in a big victory.' "
In 29 minutes, Morgan shot 7 for 14 from the field (4 for 9 on treys). He added three assists, three rebounds, and a steal.
"He's the one who carries us," said senior forward Arron Goodman, who equaled Morgan's 18 points and hauled in 19 boards. "It all starts with him. The ball is in his hands more than anybody else's."
After Morgan's accomplishment, the game was stopped briefly to give him a chance to celebrate with coaches, teammates, and, on a quick dash into the bleachers, family members.
The 17-year-old, who is averaging 13.7 points, is headed for Maryland-Baltimore County.
"It's close to home, my family can come and see me play, and I've been told that I'll get the chance to play right away," Morgan said.
On the cusp. Boys' Latin senior guard Maurice Watson is primed to become the 23d player in Southeastern Pennsylvania boys' history to score 2,000 career points.
With 1,994 points, the 5-9, 160-pounder needs only six in Thursday afternoon's home game against Public League Division A rival Simon Gratz to join the prestigious group. The Warriors play at Shepard Recreation Center, at 57th and Haverford Avenues.
Watson is set to become the fourth Public League player to enter the 2,000-point club, joining Strawberry Mansion's Maureece Rice (2,681), Overbrook's Wilt Chamberlain (2,206), and Bartram's Tyrone Garland (2,198).
Nominated. Four area players were nominated to compete in the McDonald's All-American Game, set for March 28 at Chicago's United Center.
Neshaminy's Ryan Arcidiacono, Constitution's Savon Goodman, Friends' Central's Amile Jefferson, and Westtown's Daniel Ochefu were among five Pennsylvania players nominated. The other was Central Dauphin's Devin Thomas.
Arcidiacono, a Villanova recruit, is sidelined this season with a back injury.
The 24 players chosen to participate in the game will be announced Feb. 9.
Tap-ins. Pennridge's Tim Abruzzo posted his 1,000th career point in last Friday's 85-79 loss to Suburban One League Continental Conference foe Central Bucks South. His 39 points, including nine three-pointers, against the Titans were single-game school records. Abruzzo, who is averaging 22.3 points, is receiving interest from Navy. . . . Pennsbury's Kieran Bolger (15.4 ppg) has drilled 43 three-pointers. . . . Matt Sherman (14.3 ppg, 20 treys) and Itay Levy (13.6 ppg) are Harriton's go-to scorers.
Rick O'Brien: The Inquirer TOP 10
Records are through Tuesday.
Last week's rankings in parentheses.
1. Chester (1) 16-0
2. Neumann-Goretti (2) 13-2
3. Lower Merion (4) 16-2
4. St. Joseph's Prep (6) 14-2
5. Roman Catholic (7) 9-4
6. Malvern Prep (3) 19-1
7. Friends' Central (10) 13-4
8. Wissahickon (5) 15-2
9. Phila. Electrical (NR) 14-5
10. Council Rock N. (NR) 12-3
Under consideration (listed alphabetically): Academy of the New Church (13-5), Archbishop Carroll (11-5), Coatesville (12-2), Germantown Academy (14-6), Imhotep Charter (13-4), Plymouth Whitemarsh (10-6).
- Rick O'Brien