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Korby's Corner...The season of 1,000

Transitioning down the basketball court last Thursday, Esko senior forward Kory Deadrick made one of his familiar 3-pointers.

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Yet, this special left-corner strike also made history, transitioning into the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,517 points, surpassing Harold Bergstedt’s former record of 1,515, which stood for 59 years.

It only seems fitting for what I call “The season of 1,000.”

Following Deadrick’s memorable basket, and after visiting Floodwood misfired on the next possession, Esko Coach Mike Devney took a timeout to honor his 6-foot-6, 175-pound scoring machine. Esko Principal Greg Hexum and Athletic Director Chad Stoskopf awarded Deadrick a plaque and game ball.

“I told him I’ve coached a lot of good players, but he’s all-around the best,” said Devney, who is in his 15th year at Esko. The coach totaled 1,581 points himself as a prep player at Eau Claire Regis High School from 1973-76 — he is one of more than half a dozen Carlton County basketball coaches nowadays to have passed the 1,000-point plateau.

Devney said Deadrick could finish around 1,800 points once he’s all finished, maybe even passing his coach’s mark during this Friday’s game.

“To think of all of the great players who have played here, it’s pretty special,” added a humble Deadrick during practice last Friday evening. “But I’d rather win a state tourney and bring that back home to our town and our community.”

That’s possible for the Eskomos (15-3) — ranked third in Class AA — as Deadrick’s senior teammates Marc Peterson and Casey Staniger also have more than 1,000 career points. The rare one-grand trio saw Peterson propel past the quadruple-point mark in early December at Duluth Marshall, then Staniger did the same over holiday break.

During that same Christmas stretch, Barnum’s Brandon Newman notched his 1,000th as a junior, joining older sisters, Katrina and Jessica, for a total of 5,000-plus points as a family.

Cloquet senior Adam Laine, with 1,533 points, is seeking Mike Johnson’s school record of 1,668 within half a dozen games, said Coach Steve Battaglia, who scored 1,667 himself as a player.

“Coming in, I never thought I could break it,” said Laine, who may make the milestone bucket at rival Esko on Feb. 10.

In prep girls, both Cloquet’s Jaiden Cofield and Moose Lake-Willow River’s Adri Jusczak are over 900 points and expected by their coaches to eclipse four digits in the nearing future.

South Ridge junior Mikayla Olesiak, admittedly relieved, made her 1,000th on a 3-pointer three weeks ago, before getting a hug from her father, Brad — a 1,000-point scorer — as well as a game ball.

“That one will stick with me for a while,” Olesiak said.

Chisholm Coach Bob McDonald, 80, even earned 1,000 career wins in December — a first for anyone ever in Minnesota.

“One thousand wins?” thought Staniger, originally from Chisholm, as he ran his hand through his hair. “I can’t even believe it.”

Suitable timing, though, for a feat in “The season of 1,000.”