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Rarely does a free throw elicit such a loud cheer.
Hampshire senior Tyler Watzlawick had already connected on a pair of first-quarter free throws and was sitting on 999 career points when he stepped to the line again with 5:39 left in the first quarter.
Fouled by a Marengo forward on a spin move in the low post, The 6-foot-6 Watzlawick calmly sank his third free throw of the quarter to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
The feat drew a standing ovation from the purple-clad fans who made the trip north on Ill. Rt. 20 to witness the milestone, not to mention Hampshire's 40-21 nonconfererence victory. Watzlawick, scored 11 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to up his career scoring total to 1,008.
Verified boys basketball program records at Hampshire date back only to the late 1970s, according to coach Bob Barnett, who said records prior to that era are missing. But to the best of anyone's knowledge at Hampshire, Watzlawick now trails only 2004 graduate David Ross on the school's all-time career scoring list. Ross finished with 1,045 career points.
"It's pretty honoring," said Watzlawick, who in December committed to Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisc. "I've known a lot of good players who have played at Hampshire before. To be counted on that list with David Ross, who was a great player, is pretty humbling.
"I've had a lot of good coaches and a lot of teammates and they've helped me, especially Barnett. I've gotten better and better as the years have gone on."
Marengo athletic director Becky Weinhandl presented Watzlawick with the game ball between the first and second quarters. Gifts of balloons and postgame-cupcakes came later.
"It is a great accomplishment. "said Barnett, Hampshire's 10th-year coach. "He's the only four-year player I've ever had. (Junior) Shane (Hernandez) will be the next one. He's a great kid. He's a special player."
It was the 11th victory in 13 games for Hampshire (13-9), though it was hardly a thing of beauty. Marengo (8-14) slowed the pace on offense in an effort to find open shots but found few openings. The Indians took 39 shots, 5 of which were blocked by Hernandez. They made only 8 of those shots (20.5 percent).
"We played pretty good on defense," Watzlawick said. "We were a little shaky on offense there for a while, but I think we played a pretty good game."
Hampshire committed 15 turnovers compared to 12 for Marengo, but the Whip-Purs offset that total by dominating the rebounding battle, 36-18. However, Watzlawick's milestone was the main topic of conversation after the victory.
"I was excited for him," said Hernandez, who scored 11 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. "I've been playing with him for two and a half years now and I've known him since we were kids. It's a great accomplishment. I'm proud of him."
Senior guard Brock Ralphs scored 10 points, including a 6-for-6 showing at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. Hampshire sank 16 of its 18 free-throw attempts overall.
Senior guard Nick Ollero led Marengo with 7 points.