Bristol’s Gabrielson reaches milestone

BRISTOLVILLE — Craig Giesy isn’t looking forward to seeing that empty spot in his backcourt next season.

He’s used to seeing Bryan Gabrielson as the team’s point guard, shooter, rebounder and taking care of other intangibles on the court.

It’s what the Bristol High School boys basketball player does through about 90 games in his Panthers career.

Gabrielson recently went over the 1,000-point barrier in his career, but considering what he does on a game-by-game basis makes this scoring feat impressive.

He averages 18 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals a game. He’s been in the varsity lineup for all four years and a starter his last two for the Panthers (13-2), ranked 10th in the latest Division IV Associated Press boys basketball poll.

Considering this is an up-tempo Bristol team that likes to press on defense and pushes the ball on offense as the Panthers scores 74 per outing, it makes this 1,000 a great milestone.

“Being a pass-first point guard scoring 1,000, that’s impressive,” Giesy said. “He’s one of the most gifted players I’ve coached in my time here.”

Bristol is 77-12 in Gabrielson’s last four seasons.

The first-team Division IV All-Northeast Inland District player last season said his skill set comes from following the game plan set forth by the Bristol coaching staff.

“It’s difficult, but I’ve grown into it starting from the coaching staff helping me build that role to carry everybody else and lead the team,” Gabrielson said. “Got to make sure we know what we’re doing. My coaching staff and teammates help me build into that role.”

Next season, he’s going to major in exercise science — pursuing a career as a physical therapist or athletic trainer.

He’s got some interest from Marietta College, but doesn’t know if he’ll play basketball there for the Pioneers — one of the nation’s better Division III programs.

His last home game of the season, Gabrielson will leave Bristol as one of the best in school history.

“It’s going to be real emotional,” he said. “It’s going to be hard playing my last game here. Definitely going to be emotional. Probably going to be a lot of tears.

“Going to have to make that game something special.”

His older brother Bryce, who is a sophomore at Ohio State, was an integral part of the Panther program.

Giesy said he feels like the Gabrielson family has been part of our program forever.

When Bryan heads off to college, and if he plays at the next level, that coach won’t have to do much tweaking.

“If a coach came in and watched him to do skill workouts, they’d be impressed,” Giesy said. “He’s been a solid player for us.

“It’s a guy you take for granted. I can see myself next year, ‘I wish we had Bryan.’ He’s one of those type of players.”