BRADFORD – It was a busy Friday night at Bradford as they inducted 2 new members into their 27th annual Athletic Hall of Fame. That was followed by Parker Davidson scoring his 1000th career point on the way to an 89-80 win over Mississinawa Valley in boys basketball action.
“It was a special night and a different atmosphere with some extra things going on with the Hall of Fame induction and the anticipation of Parker possibly scoring 1000 points,” Bradford Jay Hall said.
Two new members were inducted into the HOF prior to the game Jeff Barbee and Honorary member Cindy Hale.
Bradford ran out to a 25-17 lead in the first quarter and 45-34 at the half. The game was more like a track meet than a basketball game with both teams pushing the ball up the floor.
Parker Davidson who has been averaging 28 ppg came in needing 22 points to reach a 1000 and nearly got that in the first half scoring 14 in the first quarter and 19 by the half.
Davidson got some help from freshman point guard Owen Canan who scored 9 points in the 2nd quarter, and they would need those points to keep in front.
Mississinawa Matt Pisano had 14 points and Drew Anguiano 12 in the first half to stay within striking distance of the Railroaders.
Parker Davidson was content to share the ball in the 3rd period, getting his teammates involved knowing he was just mere points away from reaching the magic mark. Midway in the quarter he made a steal and took it in for a layup to become the 7th boy’s player in Bradford history to reach the mark.
It’s been over 20 years since a player from Bradford scored 1,000 points. The last two coming in the 90’s with Kyle Sheer doing it in 1999 and Shane Mead in 1994.
Once play resumed from the customary game ball presentation the Roaders expanded their lead to 20, 65-45 … but Mississinawa went on a 10-2 run to close the third quarter trailing 67-55.
Davidson had 8 points and Landon Monnin 7 for Bradford while Anguiano and Pisano each had 5 for the Hawks.
Bradford once again built a 20-point lead 83-65 midway through the 4th quarter with coach Jay Hall substituting out the starting 5 thinking the game was well in-hand.
But no one told the Blackhawks the game was over, and they would go on a 15-2 run on 3 triples by Troy Woodbury, Dylan Wehrkamp and Pisano. Pisano scored 11 in the final period and 30 for the game.
With the gap now 85-80 with under two minutes to play coach Hall had to put his starters back in to hold off the furious run by Mississinawa.
“We didn’t value the basketball and played undisciplined late in the game. Our kids worked hard to get a nice lead so that our reserves can get playing time and its disappointing they didn’t take care of the ball, so I had to put the starters back in.” coach Hall would say after the game.
But the railroaders Parker Davidson stopped the bleeding scoring on a fielder and 2 free throws to secure the 89-80 victory for Bradford.
Davidson shared game high scoring honors with Pisano with 30 points. Bradford had 5 players in double figures. Owen Canan and Landon Wills each had 15, Landon Monnin 13 and Hudson Hill 11.
Bradford improved to 8-4 and 5-2 in the WOAC.
Mississinawa Valley was led by Pisano with 30, Drew Anguiano had 17 and Jake Dirmeyer 10. They fell to 3-10 and 1-5 in the conference.
It was still a special night for Parker Davidson as I caught up with him after the game.
A very quiet and soft-spoken young man was more excited about getting the win when I asked him how it felt to score 1000 points.
“I mean, it’s cool, but I’d rather just focus on winning, individual play doesn’t win games, we do that together as a team,” Davidson would say.
“My teammates play just as hard as me, especially this year, we all have the goal of a winning season and to get better,” Davidson added.
Bradford hasn’t had a winning season in well over 20 years and Davidson would like to change that.
“None of us playing have ever seen it happen before (Winning Season) so we really would like to change that here and we have a good chance to do that,” he said.
Knowing that a lot of kids saw him score 1000 points and are watching a winning team and I asked him what advice he would give to those kids looking on.
“I would tell them go out and play and work hard, it can be done,” Davidson concluded.
Coach Jay Hall would be the first to tell you that Davidson has followed his own advice and has put in the work and time and is happy for him.
“Well, I’m very proud of him. You know, he got this in exactly 50 games despite COVID last season missing games and fighting injuries missing games and for him to get it in 50 games that’s impressive to me.”
“He is a team player and not a spotlight guy. He would rather just come in the gym and work on his game, right now he’s probably thinking about those free throws He missed because he prides himself on trying to be a 90% shooter from the line.”
A perfect example of him not being a spotlight guy came in the 3rd quarter where he was more concerned about sharing the ball and getting his teammates shots passing up his own that could have taken the record down sooner.
“He loves playing ball and he just wants to win, it’s honestly not about the stat line. If he needs to score he will, if can block a shot he will, if he needs to get a rebound he does. I think he had 9 rebounds and quite a few assists, he has a good understanding of the game and he saw openings tonight and it wasn’t always about him shooting the ball but getting his teammates involved and you know what more can you ask? The spotlights on him and he wants to give it to them,” Hall concluded.