Sisley scores 1,000th point, Pats win 15th straight


LEOPOLD — It’s been a season of reaching milestones and breaking records for Heritage Hills, and Friday night’s 75-38 win against Perry Central in the regular-season finale proved to be no different.

Blake Sisley entered the night just four away from his 1,000th career point. The Commodores guarded the junior big man closely in the early going. Senior Garrett James played him tight, but the 6-foot-9 Sisley is not your typical big man. He also has a penchant of being dangerous from behind the arc.

Blake Sisley

The Patriots (20-3) and Commodores traded leads in the early going before Sisley banked a 3-pointer to give his team an 8-6 lead, and that put him one point away from joining senior Simon Scherry as the second player for Heritage Hills to score his 1,000th point this season. He knew he was close.

Senior Murray Becher found Sisley running to the rim — he went up top and jammed it home with a two-handed slam, giving him the 1,000th point of his career and Heritage Hills a 14-8 lead in the first quarter.

“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates hooking me up underneath the basket and other teammates I’ve had as well,” Sisley said.

Sisley said the dunk that gave him the milestone felt pretty good. He thought it was fitting that the 1,000th point came on a dunk. Sisley added it was a really cool experience, and he was blessed to have had that happen. He finished with a game-high 23 points. Becher had 20 and Scherry 18.

Becher, Scherry and Sisley have all eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau wearing a Patriot uniform. Becher has broken three scoring records this season. Scherry has set multiple assist records and scored his 1,000th point on Feb. 8. And on this night, the moment belonged to the other third of the formidable trio.

All of these records and milestones in one season are something coach Nate Hawkins hasn’t seen before.

“Not in my four years at Forest Park or four years here at Heritage Hills,” Hawkins said. “This has been a really special group of guys. It just goes to show you how much each and every one of these guys care for each other. When it’s Simon’s night, it’s Simon’s night. When it’s Murray’s night, it’s Murray’s night. And tonight, it was Blake’s night.

“They just share the basketball so well together, and it’s been a great ride with these guys, and now we just hope to continue it here heading into the postseason,” he continued.

There was no time for Sisley to bask in the milestone during the game, though. The Pats and Commodores engaged in a close affair during the first half. And while Perry Central could not regain the lead from the early going, it did close the gap. The two teams tied with 11 points apiece in the second quarter, with the Commodores making some perimeter shots. Heritage Hills held a 34-25 halftime lead.

However, it became a different ballgame once the third quarter rolled around. The Pats outscored the Commodores 24-7 in the third quarter. They once again got points off of their defense from Scherry steals, found paydirt on the 3-point shooting they are known for and also racked up the buckets at the rim for their 15th win in a row.

“I think a lot of it had to do more with the defensive end than the offensive end, because I thought offensively we were still pretty good,” Hawkins said. “We always talk about communicating on defense. I think we were talking, but I don’t think we were necessarily listening to each other.”

The fourth-year coach said Heritage Hills needed to clean things up going into the locker room at halftime. Hawkins praised his unit for playing hard for 32 minutes, which can lead them to really turn it on with the kind of talent that they have.

He said the Pats will continue to focus on communication this week as they get ready for either Evansville Bosse or Gibson Southern in the sectional semifinal Friday at Boonville. Hawkins said Heritage Hills needs to make sure everyone is communicating and listening to one another for 32 minutes in order to advance in the tournament.

“We’re really excited, and we’re ready to go for Friday, there’s no doubt,” Hawkins said. “This group, they’ve been playing since getting that exit from Bosse last year. They’ve been playing all summer, all fall and ready to go here this winter, and have just been successful all winter long, even with the tough competition that we played earlier in the season.”

More on