Law’s Diontae Eady scores 1,000th point in win over Hand
MILFORD —Jonathan Law’s Diontae Eady has had the spotlight upon him on many occasions during his four years of playing varsity basketball for coach Jamie Anderson’s Lawmen.
A quick-silver guard with a good handle, a deadly jump shot and an affinity for finding open teammates, Eady is first to be discussed when opponents look to slow the 12-7 Law team down.
Daniel Hand took on the Lawmen on Wednesday night in an SCC battle.
The Tigers were successful, taking a 24-22 lead into a half that saw Eady score four points (on two shots and four free-throw attempts).
But then Eady tied the game on Law’s first possession in the third. After a steal, he made a pair of free throws. Eady looked to find his man to defend on the press off the next inbounds play when the whistle blew to stop the game.
Eady glanced toward the bench and Anderson was walking toward him with a big smile — he had scored his 1,000th career point.
“I knew I was getting there, but I didn’t know I was that close. I was kind of shocked,” said Eady, who finished with 16 points in Law’s 52-39 victory. “(I was thinking) When it comes, it comes. No rush. We are a team, so we do it together.”
Anderson has coached Eady and his fellow seniors — Jon Vitale, Ru Akhtar, Justice Smith and Antonio Brown —since grade school.
“Diontae can get it done in a lot of ways,” Anderson said. “You know a guy epitomizes selflessness when he reaches 1,000 points as a pass-first player. Diontae can be the scorer when it is needed, but he is a tremendous set-up guard (averaging 8 assists). His IQ on the court is off the charts.”
Eady said: I’ve been here since I was a freshman, so you know I love these guys. Even since we were younger, playing Knights (youth) ball growing up. This is everything to me.”
Coach Jimmy Economopoulos’ Hand team came in at 6-12, needing to defeat Law and hang a loss on Sheehan in its regular-season finale to make states.
“We knew 100% that Hand was going to come in hungry and play hard,” Anderson said. “Jimmy is a great coach, and they play hard anyway. I told my guys they had to be ready. In the second half, we did a better job limiting them to one shot. I thought we closed out well on their perimeter shooters all night.”
Scott Testori did his best to give Hand a win. An active frontcourt player, Testori scored 6 points to help Hand to a 10-8 lead after one. Testori added 6 more in the second stanza and the Tigers took a 24-22 lead into the locker room. He finished with 18.
Law led 34-32 when the game was stopped for Eady to shake hands with teammates and give a bow toward the Law student section. Noah Tutlis, Brian Felag added hoops before Jon Vitale dished to Tutlis on the block for a bucket. Antonio Brown, who drew a pair of charges on defense, scored on a breakaway for a 38-32 Law advantage after three.
Law outscored Hard, 14-7, in the final period.
JOINING LAW GREATS
Kevin Phillips, the all-time leading scorer in city history with 1,902 points, played from 1983-86 and tops the list for Law. Doug Romatzick (1973-76) is second with 1,366. Kyle Phillips scored 1,406 points from 1992-95. Kyle Wiggins (2006-10) finished with 1,088. Jim Betzig is the fifth 1,000-point scorer. He closed out with 1,006 (1986-89).
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jonathan Law’s Noak Tutlis was Steady Eddie in the up-and-down game through most of three periods. A junior forward, Tutlis had 5 points in each of the first two quarters and tossed in 4 more points in the final frame on his way to a 17-point performance. He and Brian Felag did a good job limiting Hand’s second-chance opportunities after the break.
“Scott Testori (18 points) was very strong for those guys,” Anderson said of Hand’s 6-foot-1 junior forward. He plays with a high motor.”
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LAW 52, HAND 39
HAND 10 14 8 7 — 39
LAW 8 14 16 14 — 52
Nick Donofrio 3 4-4 10, Ryan Collins 2 0-0 5, Scott Testori 8 2-4 18, Chris Porte 1 0-3 2, Ken Nuzzi 1 0-0 2, Morgan Veth 1 0-0 2
Totals: 16 6-11 39
Jon Vitale 1 1-4 4, Diontae Eady 6 4-7 16, Brian Felag 4 2-2 10, Noah Tutlis7 1-2 17, Antonio Brown 2 0-0 5
Totals: 21 8-15 52
3-pointers: Hand — Ryan Collins; Law Noah Tutlis 2, Jon Vitale