With junior season shortened, WRV’s Craven faces uphill climb in chase for 1,000 points

  • White River Valley's Dominic Craven passes around the defense of Oxbow's Brady Nickles during their tournament game in White River Junction, Vt., on Dec. 10, 2021. Craven, who is a senior, has an uphill climb to his 1,000-point milestone following a season shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Walley News — Geoff Hansen

  • White River Valley's Dominic Craven, right, huddles up with coach Mike Gaudette and the team before their tournament game with Oxbow in White River Junction, Vt., on Dec. 10, 2021. Craven, who is a senior, has an uphill climb to his 1,000-point milestone following a season shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Geoff Hansen

  • White River Valley's Dominic Craven shoots over Oxbow's Reece Isley during their tournament game in White River Junction, Vt., on Dec. 10, 2021. Craven, who is a senior, has an uphill climb to his 1,000-point milestone following a season shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News — Geoff Hansen

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 12/14/2021 10:52:22 AM
Modified: 12/15/2021 4:16:08 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Dominic Craven remembers sitting in the stands at South Royalton High in 2017, watching then-senior Nick Howe reach 1,000 career points.

He saw how special that moment was for Howe, and it inspired him. Craven, then in eighth grade, knew he wanted to experience that feeling for himself someday.

He wanted to score 1,000 points for White River Valley School.

He was well on his way, but last season’s COVID-shortened schedule has made it a much more difficult bar to clear.

“I scored a lot of points those first two years,” Craven said. “After my sophomore year, everyone was saying that I was on pace for 1,000. And then only having six games last year, I feel like I kind of got screwed.”

After scoring 133 points as a freshman, Craven put up 335 points his sophomore year. That left him 532 points away from 1,000. His improvement from his first season to his second suggest he could have reached the milestone with normal junior and senior seasons.

But in White River Valley’s half dozen games last season, Craven managed just 96 points. It left the guard needing 436 points this season to get to 1,000.

It’s not unattainable. But he’d have to average 21.8 points per game to pull it off. A deep Wildcats playoff run could help improve his odds.

If Craven’s able to reach that 1,000-point plateau, he’d be the first player to do it solely in a White River Valley uniform. His class will be the school’s first four-year graduating class.

Craven acknowledged it would be gratifying to be the first name on the list of Wildcat 1,000-point scorers.

But in the meantime, he’s not focused on the individual achievement. He wants to lead his team to a VPA Division IV title. Wildcats head coach Mike Gaudette said Craven has made that clear.

“We talk about team goals over individual goals. So, if he gets (1,000 points), I’m happy for him. He deserves it. He’s worked hard,” Gaudette said. “But — and Dom’s talked about it, too — we want to hang a (championship) banner first.”

Craven also plays soccer and baseball for White River Valley. But basketball was his first love, and remains his favorite sport. He thinks it’s his best, and he has the most fun playing it.

WRV basketball has become a family affair for Craven. His step-brother, Austin Tracy, is a senior guard on the team. And his younger brother, Donovan, joined the team this year as a freshman.

Dominic wasn’t sure if Donovan would make the team, but he’s glad it worked out. They joke around with each other during practice, but they use their bond to improve as players.

“We definitely push each other to be better. And Donovan knows that I push him a lot harder than everybody else and go at him a little harder because I want him to be better and I feel like that’s the best way to learn,” Craven said. “And Austin, too. We both have gone at it forever.”

Craven is off to a good start this season, scoring 23 points against Oxbow and 19 against Hartford — both game-highs — in the Stretch Gillam Kickoff Classic.

His work ethic in practice has gotten him to this point as a senior. Gaudette said it’s been even more evident this year, now that he’s a team captain.

Craven said his teammates are taking cues from him, and he has to lead by example.

“His shot’s gotten much quicker than it was years ago,” Gaudette said. “His dribbling has improved. He sees the floor better. He used to just have kind of tunnel vision. Now he sees the whole court.”

Craven wants to be remembered for that hard work. He’d ideally like a tangible achievement as a result, whether it’s reaching 1,000 points, winning a state title, or both.

He wants to leave a legacy that those who come after him can aspire to.

“I have a brother (Cam) who’s six now, and I want him to be able to see my name on the banner someday or see the championship banner that we hang,” Craven said, “and (I want) him to know that I was that guy.”

Seth Tow can be reached at stow@vnews.com.




Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784
603-298-8711

 

© 2021 Valley News
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy