Story & Photos
By Carl Holcomb
East Hardy’s Brett Tharp netted his 1,000th career point during a 36-point game-high scoring performance to send Paw Paw out of the Den in the Region II Section 2 quarterfinals with a 75-49 victory last Monday in Baker.
“This was a little more of what I had in mind. In the first half we got into doing some of our old ways not putting pressure on defense and letting them dictate and reacting to what they did,” East Hardy Coach Chris Hahn commented.
“That’s not what we do best. What we do best is forcing them into something. We put an emphasis on that in the second half and the kids came out and executed it. We were able to stretch it out. When you get turnovers, rebounds, and run outs, it separates real quick. That was the difference. We were able to get rebounds and push it up the floor and get turnovers and push it up the floor. They couldn’t do that against us and that was the difference between this game and the last time we played them. We were able to run our style of game. We played them a week ago and we didn’t play terrible, they just played good. Tonight they played the same and we were able to execute.”
Coming off a steal by Corey McDonald, Tharp tipped in the ensuing rebound creating the 1,000th point at the 2:23 mark of the third period which put the Cougars up 46-30 and moments later Tharp added a 3-pointer.
“Every night you know what you are getting. Brett is a very emotional kid. You know you are going to get the passion and you know you’re going to get the effort and 99 percent of the time you’re getting the execution. He just goes out there and does what you tell him, because he knows we will put him in a position to be successful. When you have the athleticism that he has, I have had only one kid that came close to him athletically. He is a phenom. If he can harness that. He is getting the best defender plus the student section, plus the parents, everybody knows to come after him. The days he is in control, he is unstoppable. It’s just about him focusing on what he does best. There’s not a single player in single A who can stop him,” Coach Hahn remarked.
Tharp joins at least seven other 1,000-point boys basketball scorers in school history.