MONROEVILLE â€” As the first-quarter buzzer sounded, Brookville's Zane Hackett sunk a career achievement: His 1,000th career point.
"It means a lot to me," Hackett said following the game. "I think a lot of it you can attribute to the coaching staff, putting in the extra hours. I owe coach (Dan) Cable and coach (Bud) Baughman a lot. ... A big thanks goes out to all my teammates. Without them, it would've never happened."
Hackett entered Saturday afternoon's PIAA opening round playoff game against Sto-Rox with 993 points.
It took only eight minutes for the six-foot-six senior to bucket what he needed for the milestone, and Hackett said he was happy it didn't take long.
"That was definitely a big goal for me, and coach (Baughman) told me to get it early," Hackett said. "It was definitely important to me. It gets you more focused on the game at hand, not just personal statistics.
Because at the end of the day, you're playing for a win; you're not playing for total points."
Although the Raiders lost 67-48 to an impressive Sto-Rox squad, it was not for lack of effort on Brookville's part.
"I thought we battled them the entire game," Brookville head coach Baughman said. "... What I saw (Saturday) was we had better ball movement and better movement by our guards, and I thought that helped opened up the inside a little bit more."
Hackett was once again the Raiders' leading scorer and had statistically one of his best games of the season, tallying 23 points, 19 rebounds and two blocks.
"Zane did what Zane was able to do (Saturday), and he was a man in there against their men," Baughman said. "He played just tremendous, and I am proud that I was able to coach him."
Hackett said he was happy to finish his career in a Brookville uniform with such a solid game.
"(In) big games, you have to come to play; you have to leave it all out there," Hackett said. "You go in knowing this could be my last game at high school, so I went in more focused. ... Sometimes, you just have to go in showing you can play with them."
Hackett also topped off his season with one of his most impressive dunks of the season.
Saturday, he took the ball from half court and went over the head of Sto-Rox's leading scorer, Lamonte Harrison, for the slam, bringing his season dunk total to 11.
"I'll take (Saturday's) over any of them," Hackett said. "When I got the ball, my first instinct was to just attack. ... I thought that was big for me. In the end, I kind of proved myself against better competition."
The Raiders, as a whole, proved themselves Saturday afternoon, as they came out strong in the first half against the No. 3 seed in the WPIAL.
Halfway through the second quarter, Brookville led 23-18, and Baughman attributed that to the defensive intensity.
"I thought we confused (Sto-Rox) in the first half," Baughman said. "They didn't know quite what we were running defensively, and that kind of threw them off."
But following that lead, the Vikings went on a 17-2 run, which was highlighted by three back-to-back three-pointers by Harrison, and Sto-Rox led 35-25 at halftime.
Despite the setback, Baughman tried to make sure the Raiders weren't discouraged.
"During the course of the game, most teams will go on a run," Baughman said. "I just figured if we could stay tight, we'd be all right. I had told the kids beforehand that we should pack it in a little bit and see what happened. But if he's going to make them like that, there's not much you can do."
With the help of Harrison, Sto-Rox continued to take off in the second half and led by as many as 20.
The Raiders pulled to within 12 at the start of the fourth quarter.
But Brookville could put up only 12, compared to the Vikings' 17, in the final eight minutes, and Sto-Rox advanced with the 67-48 victory.
"I thought to our credit, we came back and tightened things up there for a little bit," Baughman said. "But I just thought their superior athleticism overtook us."
The Raiders, who had suffered offensively after an injury to senior starter Tighe Truman, stepped up big in their attack.
Behind Hackett, senior Austin Burney had 14 points and six rebounds, followed closely by Seth Connor, who earned eight points and six steals.
Baughman was also impressed with senior point guard Sebastian Kerr, who had been sick in the week leading up to the contest.
"Sebastian just gutted it out," he said. "He couldn't go the last couple days in practice at all, so to give us probably 28 to 30 minutes is a tribute to the warrior in him."
For the Raiders, the game was an all-around team effort, which Baughman has been stressing since the beginning of the season.
"Collectively, I think the kids didn't want to have this be their last game," Baughman said. "But somewhere along the line, unless you win the state championship, you're going to lose."View more articles in: