McConnellsburg's Chase Novak had accepted the fact that he would likely earn the 1,000th point of his career on the road.
In the Spartans' last home game before starting a three-game road slate, Novak was 36 points away from hitting the career milestone, and his career high prior to Thursday was 27.
But heading into the fourth quarter against Tussey Mountain in an eventual 67-32 victory, McConnellsburg held a hefty lead, and Novak had just 11 points to go.
"We really didn't have any idea; no one was expecting him to score 36 points," McConnellsburg coach Drew Washabaugh said. "I didn't want to run the score up, but I told him, 'You have 11 points to go, I want you to get this at home - go get 11 points.'"
Washabaugh sent Novak out onto the court with the JV team, and with just 11 points to go and the clock ticking down, Novak tossed up two air balls to start the final frame.
"I never thought I was going to be able to get it, to be completely honest," Novak said. "And throwing two air balls in the fourth quarter didn't help anything, but I stayed with it. With five minutes left I got a couple cheap baskets at the end that I'm not too proud of, but I went coast-to-coast and put up a layup for the 1,000th."
With about 40 seconds to go in the game, Novak put up his most memorable bucket. But the clock kept ticking down as Tussey in-bounded the ball quickly, keeping Novak and his team from celebrating just yet. But once a timeout was called, an impromptu celebration was conducted at mid-court.
In front of a crowd of between 250-300 people, those in attendance had no idea they would be witnessing a milestone game for the senior, but Novak said doing it unexpectedly was the icing on the cake.
"A lot of my teammates were home from college on Christmas break and it was so nice to do this at home for them," Novak said. "After the game so many friends and family members stayed after to take pictures."
On top of posting a career high and earning his 1,000th point, Novak also put up a double-double, racking up 12 rebounds.