2018-02-01 / Sports

Miller scores 1,000th point; three others on the brink

By Jay Bushen
Sports Editor

Garett Miller came off a trio of baseline screens, caught a pass on the right wing with room to shoot and wasted little time.

In one fluid motion, Miller turned toward the basket, released a long ball, stuck his hand in the cookie jar — and found nothing but net.

Miller’s 3-pointer in the third quarter of an 83-68 loss at Kingsley on Friday cemented his place in the Leland record books as the program’s 10th member of the 1,000-point club.

The senior guard poured in a career-high 45 points, the most by a Leland player since Marcus Whittaker set the school record with 49 points against Traverse City Christian 10 years ago.

“It is quite an accomplishment, and it was impressive to see how he did it — against a box-and-one all night,” Leland coach Jon Kiessel said. “His grandfather passed away two nights before ... and his whole family was there. It was a great night for the Miller family. We would have liked to win the game, but to have him reach 1,000 points with his family around him was a pretty big accomplishment.”

Kingsley staff stopped the game immediately, Kiessel said, and Miller received a round of applause.

The reigning Leelanau County scoring champ joins Whittaker, Nate Sneed, Jimmy Munoz, Derek Telgard, Joe Nedow, Justin Paulton, Scott Maleski, Mike Glass, and Brad Denoyer on Leland’s elite list.

“I’m not surprised,” Suttons Bay coach Ron Anderson said.

“He’s a heck of a shooter and a good offensive player. He’s Leland’s top guy. He gets a lot of shots and a lot of opportunities but he knocks shots down.”

That’s certainly been the case in Kingsley’s gym, where Miller scored 37 points last season, albeit in a loss.

Little brother Gavin Miller, a freshman, seemed to follow suit on Friday. He was the only other Leland player in double figures, finishing with 10 points.

“Garett’s a good player,” said Glen Lake coach Rich Ruelas, whose Lakers were slated to play Leland after press time last night. “When we play them, he’s definitely circled on our board.”

Interestingly, three other all-county players are on the cusp of 1,000 points.

Glen Lake senior guard Savannah Peplinski, the peninsula’s top scorer on the girls side with 13.7 points per game, needs just 17 points to hit 1,000 against visiting North Bay tonight.

Suttons Bay senior guard Thomas Hursey, who ranks second among all county players in scoring with 17.5 points per game, needed 42 points entering last night’s contest at Benzie.

Cade Peterson, a senior at Glen Lake who played his freshman and sophomore seasons for the Lake City varsity team, entered last night’s game against Leland needing 89 points.

Peterson’s teammate, junior guard Xander Okerlund, isn’t far behind, either. The reigning Enterprise Dream Team MVP closed out Monday’s win at Charlevoix with 797 career points.

Update from Suttons Bay coaching staff: Thomas Hursey scored 18 points in a loss to Benzie on Wednesday, moving his career total to 976. The number provided by coach Ron Anderson that appeared in today's paper was missing totals from three playoff games.

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