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Millennium Man: Thetford Senior Scores 1,000th Point

  • Thetford Academy senior Dylan Thorburn, center, gets a hug from teammate Tony Pippin while celebrating the 1000th point of his high school career during the Panthers' 61-50 win over Lamoille Union in Thetford, Vt., Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

  • Dylan Thorburn of Thetford, tries to force an opening between Lamoille defenders Kyler Collins, left, and Jake Benoit, right, inThetford, Vt., Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Thetford won 61 - 50. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

  • Lawson Ouellette, of Thetford Academy shoots over Lamoille Union's Aidan Foley, right, during their game in Thetford, Vt., Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Thetford won 61 - 50. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News — James M. Patterson

  • Thetford Academy boys basketball coach Jason Gray and players, from left, Tony Pippin, Dan Wells and Alex Emerson, break from the locker room at halftime of their game with Lamoille Union in Thetford, Vt., Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Thetford won 61 - 50. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 3/1/2018 12:03:49 AM
Modified: 3/1/2018 2:19:57 PM

Thetford — Thetford Academy’s Dylan Thorburn has always been a scorer, ever since he and teammate Lawson Ouellette first hit the basketball court together as first-graders. That much, clearly, hasn’t changed.

But Thorburn’s knack for the hoop has been elevated this winter, his final campaign in a Panther uniform, and it’s put his Thetford boys basketball team in position to reach its ultimate goal: a trip to the Barre Auditorium for postseason basketball for the first time since 2013.

Maybe now, after the Thetford senior scored his 1,000th career point in front of a packed house that saw the Panthers defeat VPA Division II’s Lamoille, 61-50, on Wednesday, Thorburn can finally concentrate on the playoffs.

“I’ve been thinking about it forever,” said the soft-spoken Thorburn, who set himself up to hit the 1,000-point mark by netting 31 points against Oxbow on Monday. “Whenever I was doing nothing, I just thought about it. I was working myself up. I guess if you picture it, it makes it even easier to get it.”

The night was Thorburn’s from the beginning.

He was one of four seniors — the others being Allen Wang, Dan Wells and Ouellette — honored before the game for senior night, although Thorburn got the biggest cheer from a crowd seemingly anticipating the milestone just moments away.

And yet it still took nearly two minutes of play, with his teammates feeding him the ball, for Thorburn to drive the hoop and score the two points he needed for 1,000, turning to the crowd with his hands raised as he was embraced by his teammates. He became the eighth male athlete in school history to reach the millennium mark, the first since Panthers head coach Jason Gray in 2008, and the fourth scorer since 1997.

“It’s an honor, really,” said Thorburn, who admitted the lead-up to 1,000 points was unnerving. “I always looked up when I was younger, and I was like, ‘I want to be that person someday.’ I’m just glad that I could do it.”

Thorburn finished the game with 17 points, adding to the 362 that the senior has put up on the scoresheet this winter.

At halftime, other members of Thetford’s 1,000 point club — including Adam Boffey (1994), Jolene Thurston (1996), Jolin Maclay (2001), Chris Snider (2003) and Shyann Josler (2014), who also scored her 1,000th point for Norwich University on Feb. 6 — joined Thorburn for a group picture at center court.

Many of them welcomed the new addition to the club.

“It was great that everybody was here,” said Gray, his team now 13-6 this season. “Plus, we had old alumni here, coming back for senior night, and bringing in everybody. It was special. I scored my 1,000th point at a Christmas tournament at Green Mountain. It was different; we were away. … But it was cool. I’m glad he got it here, in front of everybody. I’m glad he got to share it.”

Ouellette hit six 3-pointers and scored a game-high 20 points for the Panthers, who enter their regular-season finale on a five-game win streak. Sophomore guard Alex Emerson added 13 points, and junior Owen Deffner finished with five.

The Panthers took the lead for good with a 10-2 run at the end of the first quarter over a Lamoille squad on a four-game skid. Thetford led, 29-22, at halftime and 50-34 after the third quarter, using its ball movement on the perimeter to open up space for its talented guards to drive and score. The Lancers dropped to 7-11 with the loss.

“I would say I have two or three of them that it kind of distributes through,” Gray said, the others being Emerson and Ouellette. “(Thorburn) is one of them. To be honest, I’m going to miss him.”

Thetford’s regular-season finale is Friday at Lake Region before the VPA Division III playoffs begin early next week. Thetford athletic director Blendon Salls now has to find more room on a banner in the school’s gymnasium honoring its past 1,000-point scorers. The one hanging has no more space and needs one more name added to the list.

“I think he’s realized that in order to be a team leader, you have to perform,” Gray said of his star guard. “If he’s on fire, if he’s playing good defense, it just builds all the way through (the lineup). I also think he realizes this is his last time to try and get to the Auditorium.”

Josh Weinreb can be reached at jweinreb@vnews.com or 603-727-3306.


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