Fans of the Saugerties boys’ basketball team packed the high school’s gym February 20 to watch eighth-grade sensation Dior Johnson become the youngest player in state history to reach the 1000 point mark, and reach it in the shortest amount of time in Saugerties basketball history.
In addition to seeing Johnson break the state record, fans also watched as the Saugerties Sawyers’ boys and girls basketball teams won a double header against Pine Plains. Both games were one-sided affairs, with the boys winning 70-39 and the girls 61-23.
Johnson plans on leaving Saugerties High School next year to play for a prep school, which he hopes will better prepare him to go onto a high Division I basketball school; he’s shooting for Duke.
He came into the Pine Plains game 12 points shy of the 1000 point mark but quickly hit two quick two-pointers, the second a dunk; minutes later a three point fade away jumper from out past the top of the key surpassed the milestone, to 1001 points.
By time the night was over, Johnson had tossed down 33 points, leaving him with 1,021 for his two-year career.
The game against Pine Plains started off all Saugerties. While Johnson was scoring at will so was 6’-5” junior forward Liam Schoonmaker who tallied all of his 17 points in the first half.
Also scoring for the Sawyers: Dan Passante, 6, Tavin Rell, 4, Ryan Whitaker, and Sean McGirr three each, and Caleb Edwards and Jack Hindes two points each.
In the girls’ game, it was all quick hands; fast feet and quality shooting, which helped the Lady Sawyers run away to an 11-0 lead.
Jaclyn Murphy got the game off to a fast start with a steal on Pine Plains’ first possession. She took ball down court and popped in a three-pointer.
On Pine Plains’ second possession of the first quarter it was Erin Dudzic’s turn as she made a quick steal and went in for an easy lay-up.
Then it was Murphy’s turn again off of a steal of Pine Plains’ third possession with a pass to Grace VanRoy, who was fouled and sank two free throws.
Saugerties continued to make steals, Pine Plains committed turnovers and at the end of the first quarter it was the Lady Sawyers 22, Pine Plains 5.
Coach Mike Melville put in his second team and sprinkled in a number junior varsity players who were called up for the game and they continued to overwhelm Pine Plains. At the half it was 36-7, Saugerties.
The third and fourth periods were no different with the Sawyers up 51-12 after three points, and 61-23 at the final buzzer.
Grace VanRoy’s 19 points led the Lady Saugerties. Ana VanRoy had 6, Maddy Bucci, 6, Erin Dudzic and Murphy, 5 points; Julia Quinlan, Skylar France, and Christie Collins scored 4 points each, and Elisa Peters, Karissa Adickes, Sage Fanelli, and Molly Dagget had two points each.