It was no mystery that Brady Carandang’s 1,000th career point was coming Saturday since the high-scoring Thunder Mountain High School senior was sitting on 999 points heading into the senior night game.
But how he reached the milestone was still a surprise.
Just over a minute into the game, Carandang shot over the outstretched limbs of a relatively towering Wasilla High School defender to score the first points of the contest. The ball banked off the backboard, into the hoop and placed Carandang into the record books. He’s just the fourth TMHS Falcon to cross the 1,000-point line.
“I envisioned it as making a three or maybe a little jump shot,” Carandang said in a recent post-practice interview. “I didn’t think I was going to hit it over a 6-foot-4 guy on a post move. It kind of just happened.”
It came as a surprise to TMHS boys basketball coach John Blasco, too.
“It caught me off guard because it was a post move over one of their tallest defenders,” Blasco told the Empire after the game. “I was like, ‘Oh, he just scored,’ and I realized I needed to call a timeout. I was late calling a timeout, they already had the ball. I appreciate the Wasilla coach letting it happen and letting us recognize the kid. That was a really honorable, respectful thing he did.”
The shot was in the making for a while.
Carandang said he’s known he was on track to join the ranks of the Matt Seymour 1,000 Point Club since his junior year.
“I just want to credit my teammates with getting me there,” Carandang said.
The honor is named for TMHS’ all-time leading scorer. Carandang’s name will be added to a plaque kept in a trophy case near the gym.
Alongside Carandang, the other 1,000-point scorers in TMHS history are Seymour, 1,158 points; Chase Saviers, 1,110 points; Jacob Calloway, 1,038 points.
With some tournament games remaining, it’s possible Carandang can continue to climb that all-time scoring list.
Blasco complimented Carandang’s scoring ability in light of the milestone. He said in the time Carandang’s been at TMHS, opponents have typically included the guard in their game plans.
“Everyone puts their best defender on your shooter, and he still got to 1,000 points,” Blasco said.
Carandang did not hesitate to identify which three of his 1,010 points were his favorite to score.
They came last year in a game against Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé.
“It was probably the half-court shot against J-D at the buzzer,” Carandang said. “Probably one of my favorite plays because no one expected. I just kind of threw it up there, and the crowd went crazy.”
• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt