It was the middle of the first quarter at Ron “CI” Insinger gymnasium, and the crowd and players could tell something special was brewing.
Mifflinburg’s Tanner Stoltzfus was closing in on 1,000 career points, which has widely become the mark of a truly impactful player at the high school level. Stoltzfus crossed the plateau with a free throw, giving him exactly 1,000 points on the dot.
Obviously, Mifflinburg players were there to congratulate the newest member of the club, but so were the Lancers, who all came over to offer a handshake and pat on the back.
After the special moment, it was all business for Loyalsock. Gerald Ross finished with 10 points, Connor Watkins added another ten, and Mitchell Klingerman led the way with 15 as the Lancers completed the season sweep of Mifflinburg with a 62-57 win.
Stoltzfus entered the game against Loyalsock needing only three points to reach 1,000. It would have been a very cold day from the floor it he wasn’t some how able to reach the milestone. He has averaged double-digit points throughout the season.
A call near the basket during the opening quarter opened the door for Stoltzfus, who hit his first shot from the floor to pull within one point of tying the mark.
“It was tough,” Stoltzfus said. “I could feel it in my legs I was nervous. When the one went in, it was a great feeling.”
Both teams obviously wanted to win the game. Mifflinburg and Loyalsock entered with identical 11-5 records, but that didn’t stop players and coaches from heading over to the foul line to greet Stoltzfus.
The moment was special, but it was one Stoltzfus was ready to put behind him. The true focus was the final free throw to help his team through the first quarter. Mifflinburg ended the eight-minute stretch up 16-15.
“I don’t care who it comes against, but to come against a good team like Loyalsock it was a good feeling,” Stoltzfus said. “I would rather have it at home, but it felt good against a team like Loyalsock.”
Stoltzfus scored five points in the second quarter, added another six in the third and closed the game out with five more points. Stoltzfus needed three to cross the 1,000-point marker. He finished with 15 on the night.
“It’s a great honor for him,” Mifflinburg coach Andre Roupp said. “He has been a very unselfish team player. He’s a win first guy and to put a little cherry on top with 1,000 points is just outstanding. It could not have happened to a harder worker and great person. I’m really proud of him.”
The game didn’t turn out the way the Wildcats wanted, but still offered a chance for a committed player to reap the rewards of an outstanding career. It’s rare to see 1,000-point scores in action actually crossing the line between memorable and all-time great, but it’s something any fan of high school basketball should try to fit in.
Loyalsock 62, Mifflinburg 57
Jordan Tyson 0 0-0 0; Logan Mensch 3 0-0 8; Levi Yoder 5 0-0 11; Tanner Stoltzfus 5 5-10 15; Austin Raymer 6 0-0 12; Chris Day 3 2-4 11; Daniel Zack 0 0-1 0. Totals 23 7-15 57.
Brandon Bauman 4 0-0 9; Gerald Ross 4 1-2 10; Collin Graver 0 1-2 1; Anthony Pastore 4 1-2 9; Connor Watkins 4 2-5 10; Mitchell Klingerman 4 5-7 15; Bam Brima 2 0-0 4; Hunter Webb 0 0-0 0; Aiden Gair 1 1-1 4. Totals 21 11-19 62
MIFF 16 14 10 17–57
SOCK 15 14 16 17–62
3–Point Goals: Mifflinburg 4 (Mensch 2, Yoder, Day). Loyalsock 5 (Bauman, Ross, Klingerman 2, Gair).
Records: Mifflinburg 11-6, 2-5. Loyalsock 12-4, 5-1.
Next: Montoursville at Mifflinburg, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. Lewisburg at Loyalsock, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.