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Brody Ball embraces his coach, Mickey Cozart, after scoring his 1001st point in high school at Wellston High School on January 13th, 2016 STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER|MATT STARKEY

Athens Basketball: Griffin Lutz scores 1,000th career high school point

Griffin Lutz began to walk off the court as the third quarter came to a close at Wellston High School — he was only a few points shy of 1,000 career high school points.  

With his team up 58-26 on the Golden Rockets, Lutz, as well as the other Bulldogs starters, assumed their night was done.

But as he approached the bench to take a seat, coach Mickey Cozart waved him back onto the floor. Cozart wanted to make sure the senior wouldn't leave the game without adding his name to the Athens High School record book.

Minutes later, Lutz sprinted down the court all alone after taking a quick pass from teammate Eli Chubb, and, like he’d done many times before in his high school career, softly placed the ball through the hoop, eclipsing 1,000 career high school points.

Cozart immediately called for a timeout, as the team and the fans stood to congratulate Lutz on becoming just the third Athens High School player to break the milestone.

“It was going slo-mo,” Lutz, a team captain, said. “It’s cool to be up there on that list.”

It was only a matter of time before Lutz broke the 1,000 point barrier. The point guard hoped to surpass the mark during his junior year, but a gruesome ankle injury ended his season early. It remained to be seen whether he would eclipse 1,000th points in his final year.

Just over a year after his ankle injury put a question mark on the future, Lutz embraced Cozart after reaching the goal he set out to accomplish.

After a successful recovery in the offseason, Lutz hasn't missed a beat since returning to the floor for the 2016-17 season, as he continues to be a force that other teams simply can’t find a way to stop.

Cozart believes Lutz is ready for Division I basketball, and in his eyes, Lutz is the best point guard in southeast Ohio.

“You can’t put a value on a kid like Griffin," Cozart said. "I couldn’t even give you a number. He fills up the stat column every game and it’s not just points. He’s making everybody else around him better, that’s what Griffin does.”

As a fellow team captain, junior Dalton Cozart, son of Mickey, was proud to see Lutz reach the milestone. To Dalton, Lutz is everything you could ask for in a teammate.

“He’s a leader, and he helps us on the floor and off the floor,” Dalton said. “He’s just a good friend to everyone and he picks us up.”

Lutz’s passion for the game and value to the team is visible from the stands as well. Tim and Cindy Lutz, Griffin’s parents, are often in attendance to see their son play, and the night of his accomplishment will be one they’ll remember for a long time.

“It’s a great achievement,” Cindy said. “I think it’s something he probably looked at as a freshman and hoped to be able to do.”

Tim Lutz added that it's really exciting to be able to watch his son play and finally achieve 1,000 points. 

“We’re just very proud because he worked hard for it,” Tim Lutz said. 

After high school, Griffin Lutz hopes to continue playing basketball in college. He has already received interest from a number of Division II schools and junior colleges.

“Whoever picks him up is gonna be happy with the point guard that they chose,” Mickey said. “They’re going to be happy and we’re going to be missing a point guard. We’ll leave it at that. He’s just that good.”

@anthonyp_2

ap012215@ohio.edu

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