Fuller Scores 1,000th Point, McCann Tech Boys Fall
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Shane Fuller has done a lot of scoring -- and a lot of winning -- in a McCann Tech boys basketball uniform.
And when he entered Friday night's State Vocational Semi-final game on the verge of scoring his thousandth point, Fuller did not let individual goals get in the way of the bigger objective.
"I talked to Shane before the game, and I said, 'Shane, this is one thing I can't talk to you about having experienced before, but here's how I'd go about it: You need seven points, you're going to get it, let the game come to you,' " McCann coach Mike Nykorchuck said. "I thought he did a fantastic job of that.
"I thought there were times early on when he could have hoisted up a 3, and he made a pass to someone who had a better shot. I was very proud of the way he did it. And I think he was very efficient in the first quarter getting there. I think he only missed one or two shots. That was it. He let the game come to him."
But after it did, the game got away from Fuller and the rest of the Hornets, who took a 63-44 loss to Franklin Tech on an otherwise celebratory night for McCann.
Fuller scored No. 1,000 on a pull-up in the lane with about 12 seconds left in the first quarter to get McCann within two, 14-12.
But Franklin Tech went on an 17-3 run to open the second quarter and never looked back.
Fuller said he did not feel any particular pressure coming into the game with 993 career points.
"My teammates actually found me, which I was very fortunate to have happen, and I knocked down those shots," Fuller said. "I thought we were going to keep playing like that, but we just fell apart.
"We were missing captain Rahmer Vincent, and he's a key part of our program. He gets like 12 points, 12 rebounds per game, so that definitely hurt us."
Without Vincent, who was unavailable for Friday's action and whose status is unknown for next week's Western Mass tournament, the Hornets (15-7) were eaten up on the glass by the bigger Eagles (16-5).
Zach Korpiewski scored 10 points with 19 rebounds, and Chris Wetherby scored 7 with 21 boards for Franklin Tech.
Nykorchuck said the Eagles, who split a regular-season series with McCann, knew his team well and knew they could capitalize even more on their size advantage with Vincent out of the lineup.
"Their strength is down low, ours is on the perimeter," Nykorchuck said. "I hate to live and die by the 3, but it's who we are. They did a great job of defending the perimeter, and when we did get a shot, we didn't shoot well.
"I thought we ran some good sets and got some good shots out of them. ... But if you don't hit the shot, what good is the play?"
Fuller, who was hounded on the perimeter through the second and third quarters, finished with 11 points. Collin Racette made three 3-pointers to finish with nine.
His 1,004 career points make him one of just seven Hornets to go over 1,000. The last was Ben Raimer, who graduated with the school's boys basketball record of 1,170 in 2010. Heather Malloy, who graduated in 2008, scored 1,259.
Although Friday night did not end the way the McCann faithful hoped, they did go home able to smile about seeing one final home highlight from Fuller.
"He's just a solid kid with great character," Nykorchuck said. "Shane, I don't have to worry about on or off the court. It's just little things, like after the game, I don't want any water bottles on the floor under either bench. Shane has been doing this since he's a freshman, and he's he first one to be picking up bottles on stuff like that. I'm like, 'Hey, sophomores, the senior captain shouldn't be the only one doing it.
"He's just a great kid. He's a great leader, a great role model for the younger kids and an absolute joy to coach. I've been coaching the high school game for 25 years, mostly at Taconic, and Shane is definitely one of the most favorite people I've had to coach. I have a group of about five I put in that category, and he's definitely in there."