The sweet sound of 1,000
McDONALD – Matt Seitz knew the magical moment had arrived.
The 6-foot-3 McDonald High School senior was 10 points shy of 1,000 in his illustrious boys basketball career heading into Wednesday’s game at Leetonia.
Seitz didn’t have to look at the scorer’s table for verification, nor to the McDonald bench.
Even Blue Devils coach Jeff Rasile didn’t provide that information.
Seitz could hear his milestone being celebrated in the stands by someone putting both of their pinky fingers in their mouth and letting out a piercing sound.
“During the first quarter I knew I had it because my dad (Scott), he whistles real loud. He was just going nuts. I figured I had it,” said Seitz after Friday’s 78-36 victory over Jackson-Milton.
Seitz had a game-high 21 points against the Blue Jays, putting his career total to 1,036.
“I think Seitz is the best player in the league, hands down,” Jackson-Milton coach Gary Nagy said. “He’s very talented, handles the ball well, rebounds well. He’s an all-around player.”
Yet, Seitz’s jumper hasn’t been the same as it was during the beginning of the year. The McDonald senior has relied on his dribble drive for the bulk of his scoring.
McDonald coach Jeff Rasile, whose team is 8-2, 4-2 Inter Tri-County League Division II, said Seitz will get back his jumper after some repetition in the gym.
“When Matt shooting the ball, the kid can shoot 3s,” Rasile said. “He can ball it from 25 to 30 feet. Right now, he’s obviously looking pretty good off the dribble. We need to get him back to the basics on the jump shot and he’ll be fine.”
Seitz doesn’t mind taking the ball to the hoop.
“That’s the best way I can score and best way I can help my team right now,” Seitz said.
He’s even quick with an assist. Late in the first half, Kenny Greaver, who had 15 points, launched the ball down court to start the break. Seitz caught up with the ball before it went out of bounds, turned and found Brad Woodley, who had 18 points, trailing. Seitz perfectly connected on an ally-oop layup.
Jake Reckard added 10 points.
“It was a fun play,” said Seitz, who finished with five assists.
McDonald had it’s share of fun with the Blue Jays (5-7, 1-5) in the first quarter, going up 23-8. The Blue Jays forced 11 turnovers and eight steals in that first frame.
“It got a little chaotic for them. We tried to do what we do every game, cause steals and turnovers,” Rasile said.
Nagy said his teams miscues were unforced throughout the game.
“We were able to get through. We just couldn’t finish at the rim,” said Nagy, whose team was led by Jeremy Fitzpatrick with eight points.
As for McDonald, Rasile hopes it can finish the regular season and eventually win the Struthers District title this year – especially for Seitz.
“Matt’s done a great job for us over the last three years,” Rasile said. “Right now, we’re hoping to cap it off with a district championship for him.”
You can bet Seitz’s dad, Scott, will join in the celebration.
“It would be off the hook. He won’t stop whistling,” Seitz said.
Tuesday, McDonald hosts Wellsville, while Jackson-Milton travels to Leetonia