B y Matthew Saari and Keith Harrington
Almost six years ago, Emily Fuller sank 18 points for Granville in a basketball matchup against Greenwich to achieve the 1,000-point career milestone. Fast forward to Jan. 25, when Emily’s brother, Matthew, hit that same milestone as Granville routed Corinth.
Entering the game, Matthew was a mere five points away from hitting the mark. By the game’s end, he had dropped in 28 points to reach 1,023 career points.
“It feels awesome to be up there with my sister,” Fuller said after the game.
“I’m really excited for him, it’s something he’s always wanted,” Emily said.
Only three other basketball players have achieved this milestone in the history of the school. Jeff McEachron, Eric Wilson and Emily being the most recent in 2011. Emily was also the first female to hit the milestone.
The 1,000-point benchmark hadn’t always been a goal for Matthew – it wasn’t until Emily hit the mark that he began to think about it.
“I thought it would be cool if I did it too,” Fuller said.
Fuller achieved the milestone despite missing half of his freshman season with a broken foot.
Aside from surpassing the 1,000-point mark, Fuller boasts several other career highlights. In 2015 he was named to the Wasaren League Second Team and in 2016 he was named to the Wasaren League First Team.
Basketball seems to be a Fuller family tradition. Fuller’s older brother Christopher, who graduated from Granville in 2008, played basketball as did Emily, a 2012 graduate.
Fuller has been participating in organized basketball since he was in third grade.
“But I’ve been dribbling, shooting, playing in the yard since first grade,” Fuller said.
During their childhood, Matthew and Emily had a healthy competition with each other.
“Yeah, growing up there was,” Matthew said. “She used to beat me, then I started taking her, beat her.”
“Matt would win one-on-one now,” Emily confirmed.
Although he has joined the elite few, Fuller said he has no intentions of resting on his laurels. His team still has five league games before divisional play, sectionals and possibly states. Fuller said he would like to finish his career at about 1,250 points.
As a senior, Fuller also has his hands full with college applications. At this point he has identified four possibilities: Endicott College, Suffolk University, University of Tampa and Stony Brook University. Endicott is his top pick. Fuller intends to major in finance.
“I took a finance class last year and really liked it. I feel I can be successful and make lots of money. I could also work in a lot of different fields,” said Fuller.
Despite his many accolades playing for Granville, Fuller does not intend to pursue a college basketball career, saying that the competition at that level is very intense and he feels he wouldn’t be able to play much.
“I might play at the club level or intramurals,” he said.
Across the canal in Whitehall…
It was a night that no Whitehall sports fan in attendance will forget anytime soon.
The Railroaders’ Adirondack League matchup against Hartford Friday night had all of the elements of a best-selling book, maybe even a movie script:
Daniel St. Clair returned to the hardwood for the first time since his battle with cancer. Cousin Evan St. Claire poured in 46 points and surpassed the 1,000 career-point plateau. And not to be lost in all of the other significant events, the Railroaders put on an impressive
performance, dominating the Tanagers, 94-46.
When Evan St. Claire was asked if going over 1,000 points on the night that Daniel St. Clair returned to the team made it even more significant, the answer was simple.
“Yeah, it was a special night overall,” St. Claire responded.
It was the second time Whitehall has defeated Hartford this year; the first was in the Whitehall Holiday Tournament.
Whitehall took charge early, building a 24-14 advantage in the first quarter.
Things didn’t get any better for Hartford in the second quarter as Whitehall outscored them 17-9 to increase their lead to 41-23 at halftime.
“They played great,” Hartford coach Jason Harrington said. “We continue to struggle on both ends of the floor.”
The Railroaders finished off the Tanagers in the second half by putting 53 points on the board to Hartford’s 23. Harrington admitted his team is not playing as well as they were at the start of the season.
“We have lost the confidence we played with earlier in the season.”
St. Claire was pleased to reach the 1,000-point mark, but was quick to point out the contribution of his teammates.
“It feels amazing to be able to reach that goal,” St. Claire said. “I couldn’t have done it without the rest of my team.”
St. Claire got help from Zac Barber who scored 12 points. Daniel St. Clair scored five points in his return.
Lucas Casey had 14 points for Hartford. Kyle Eastman chipped in 11.
The win, coupled with Argyle’s 88-58 loss to Fort Ann, puts the Railroaders in a first place tie in the league’s Division II. Argyle visits Whitehall on Feb. 10 in the season finale.
Whitehall raised its record to 7-3 in the league and 9-4 overall. Hartford fell to 2-8, 4-10.
Now that Evan St. Claire has achieved an important goal, his focus turns to the rest of the season.
“I look forward to having a good rest of the season,” St. Claire said.