Three leading career scorers in one basketball season

Now that the teams at Washington and Jefferson have completed their respective basketball seasons, the quiet of the offseason leaves time to search through the individual records of several high-scoring players.

At Jefferson, four-year starter Garrett Grantham moved his name to the top of the school’s career scoring list. Even as a freshman moving to Jefferson from Shepherdstown Middle School, Grantham was a starter on the varsity team coached by his grandfather, Bob Starkey.

Grantham continued on as a starter when his sophomore season came along.

McKinley Thomas (left) is Jefferson’s all-time leading scorer.

Last year (2010-11), Grantham went over the 1,000 point mark near the end of the campaign. Here in 2011-12, Grantham fell just shy of the 500-point plateau in Jefferson’s 11-13-record season when he averaged 20.8 points a game.

His career showed him with more than 1,500 points . . . and made him the leading all-time scorer in the long history of Jefferson High basketball, a history that began with the 1972-73 school year.

As his career progressed, Grantham was asked to shoulder more and more responsibilities. As a junior and senior, he was asked to guard several opponent’s most dangerous scorer. As a junior, he was Jefferson’s leading rebounder despite his 5-foot-11 stature.

Grantham is expected to find a college home where he can continue his basketball days.

Jefferson’s 2011-12 girls team also produced the school’s all-time leading point producer in senior center McKinley Thomas.

The 6-foot Thomas became a prolific inside scorer even before her senior season with the Lady Cougars.

As she steadily improved her free throw shooting, her point totals also climbed higher and higher.

Thomas was a three-year starter who topped the 1,000-point mark for her career this past season.

Opponents primed their defenses for her and tried to negate her influence on any game with mostly effective pressure defenses that often kept the ball out of Thomas’s hands. When Jefferson made it through the opposition’s pressure, Thomas would usually be surrounded by defenders told specifically to keep passes from coming inside to the Lady Cougar center.

Still, Thomas averaged 21.3 points a game in Jefferson’s 3-20 season. She scored nearly 500 points this past year.

At Washington High, Tyrek Collier was another four-year starter for Coach Don Bullett.

The school has floored only four teams in its short history that began in the late summer of 2008.

Collier was a starter on the football team as a freshman . . . and he will continue that phase of his athletic endeavors when he joins Shepherd for fall practice for the 2012 college season.

He is one of 30 players the Rams have announced as high school players they have signed for next season.

Collier was already 6-foot-2 as a freshman when he joined Washington’s frontline of basketball starters. He played as many minutes as anybody on Washington’s first-ever team. He scored about 210 points.

As a sophomore, Collier was a second-year starter on a second-year team. His inside work as a forward was rewarded with another 220 or so points.

When the Patriots eliminated Martinsburg from the Region II, Section 1 tournament following the 2010-11 regular season, Collier and company were setting standards that were being achieved by a third-year school.

Collier moved his career scoring total just past the 700-point mark as the Washington season fell one game shy of a state tournament berth when the Patriots lost by two points at Robert Byrd in Clarksburg in a Region II game.

When Washington went on an eight-game winning tear toward the middle of this season, Collier was being joined on a nightly basis by Dominique Newman, Christian Coles, Kendell Smith, Jerome Jones, and Cody Diehl as the Patriots defeated Martinsburg, Hedgesville, and Jefferson twice.

Collier slid past the 1,000-point mark, giving him the career point-scoring record at the school. His scoring average was 13.6 as Washington sported a 15-7 overall record for 2011-12.

Three different career-scorers in one single season. All of them spilled over the 1,000-point level for their respective careers. All of them leave as seniors atop the lists of all the players that came before them.

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