MAYFIELD — Garret Delaney reached a milestone at the tail end of the game’s most significant quarter. That it happened on his home court made it even more special for the Mayfield senior.
Delaney sank two foul shots with less than a second to go in the third frame to hit 1,000 for his four-year varsity career as part of the Panthers’ 75-53 non-league win over Saratoga Central Catholic Wednesday night.
“It was awesome. A lot of emotion,” Delaney said after scoring 10 of his 20 points in a decisive 23-9 third-quarter spurt. “It was great to see so many people come out. Awesome experience.”
The large crowd saw Delaney struggle for most of the first half before he found his groove. The 6-foot-2 guard scored for the first time with 2:35 left in the second quarter on a 3-point play, and he nailed a 3-pointer soon after.
“I came out and tried to get it out of the way,” Delaney said.
“He was clearly pressing,” Mayfield coach Jon Goodemote said. “It’s only natural.”
Delaney became the third Mayfield boy to reach 1,000 points after being fouled on a 3-point attempt by Joe Kumlander with 00.1 showing on the third-quarter clock. He made a free throw, missed one, then made another to boost his game total to 16 points and join Babe Baldwin and David Clark as Panthers in the exclusive club.
“After that miss I calmed myself down and knocked it down,” Delaney said.
The 17-year-old said at most every practice he will look up to the banner high on the gym wall that has the names of Baldwin (1957 graduate) and Clark (1993) and their career point totals of 1,826 and 1,169.
“Growing up, this was always a dream of mine,” Delaney said as he glanced toward the banner. “It’s a reminder to keep coming in and keep doing the work.”
Delaney scored on a drive as part of a 9-0 run to begin the third quarter, and he scored Mayfield’s final six points of the frame on a short jumper, a layup and his two milestone-making free throws that boosted the Panthers advantage to 58-41.
“It was nice that he was instrumental in getting us over the hump in the third quarter,” Goodemote said after his 6-3 Panthers won their third straight game. “Those 10 points were big. He went to the basket. Got a couple of charges. He’s a complete player.”
Delaney finished with eight rebounds, three assists and had one of Mayfield’s four blocked shots.
Mayfield sophomore Trevon Gifford scored 24 points which included two third-quarter slam dunks and a tip-in, to begin the put-away frame.
“It helped having Tre out there,” Delaney said. “He’s such a good player. That opened up some good looks for me.”
Saratoga Catholic (5-4) cashed in on a bunch of good looks in the first half as it built a 32-26 lead. Mayfield closed the half on 3s by Anthony Yuret, Delaney and Dan Leach.
“They were able to get away from us and hit some threes,” Delaney said of the Saints, who led by as many as 10 in the first half. “Coach settled us down and told us we’re got to communicate and play defense.”
Saratoga Catholic managed three baskets in the third quarter, with Timothy Barrett’s layup making it 54-41. Delaney made school history not too long after that.
“One of the top two moments in my life,” Delaney said.
And the first?
“I went to Africa in the summer of my seventh grade year,” he said. “That was great.”
Leach scored 11 points as part of the momentum-building win for Mayfield, which travels to Western Athletic Conference-leader Fonda-Fultonville Friday.
Barrett paced the Saints with 15 points, and Nick Condry had all nine of his in the first half. Successful drives by Condry and Jake Welcome (nine assists) gave the Saints their 32-26 second-quarter lead before the Panthers began their comeback.
SARATOGA CENTRAL CATHOLIC
Welcome 1-0-2, Hmura 2-0-4, Day 4-0-8, Catone 2-0-5, Kumlander 1-1-4, Condry 3-1-9, McCarroll 2-0-6, Barrett 5-5-15. Totals: 20-7-53.
Delaney 7-4-20, Goodemote 1-0-2, Leach 4-0-11, Lehr 2-0-4, Yuret 3-0-9, T. Gifford 11-2-24, G. Gifford 1-0-3, Forman 1-0-2. Totals: 30-6-75.
Saratoga Catholic 17 15 9 12 — 53
Mayfield 13 22 23 17 — 75