It’s been a long journey to a thousand points for Pierson senior Henry Brooks, who reached the career milestone in front of an adoring home crowd at Pierson High School on Monday night.
Brooks grew up around the game of basketball in an area where community has always rallied around the Pierson Whalers. And now the short list of great Pierson scorers, from Bobby Vacca to Will Martin, is one name longer.
“It’s an honor,” Brooks said after the Whalers coasted to a 64-54 win over Smithtown Christian. “It’s a lot of hard work, and a lot of extra hours and it’s nice to see it pay off.”
Brooks finished with just eight points on Monday with the Whalers leading by as many as 20 in the third quarter. He reached the milestone by hitting a pair of free throws with 2:53 remaining in the first quarter.
“It’s always been special for me with the whole community pushing me to be better, always putting in extra practice hours, helping me, coaching me,” Brooks said. “It’s so great to grow up in a community like this with such great people in it.”
Brooks scored 36 points in a 101-28 drubbing of Bridgehampton on January 7, leaving him just six points shy of 1,000 going into Monday night’s game against Smithtown Christian.
Joining Brooks in double figures against Bridgehampton was Habtamu Coulter, who had 16, and Richard Barranco, who scored 10. Eleven different players scored for the Whalers in each of their last two games as Fujita has emptied his bench early and often.
Sophomore Wilson Bennett, who could one day add his name to the 1,000-point club, led Pierson with 18 points on Monday.
“It’s a team sport and everybody’s got a job to do,” Fujita said when asked about the light League VIII schedule this season, which has afforded his reserves an opportunity to play significant minutes. “Tonight I thought the first unit executed really well. It’s great that we have the bench that we have for practice.”
Pierson improved to 5-0 in league play and is 6-6 overall going into a game tonight, January 16, at Greenport at 6:15 p.m. The Whalers will travel to Shelter Island for a game on Tuesday, before returning home to face Connetquot in a non-league game on January 23, a warm up for Spirit Night against the Ross School one night later.
In addition to Vacca, Martin and Kneeland, the only other players with 1,000 career points at Pierson are Darnell Coffey, Phil Carney, Owen Baker, Tyler Ratcliffe, Travis Graves, Robyn Bramoff and Kate Browngardt.
Henry Brooks with his parents, Margaret and Scott.