Last Friday night, two Pasco County high school basketball players broke milestone marks in the respective categories of 1,000- and 2,000-point marks. Academy at the Lakes center Tatiana Manuel and Wesley Chapel forward Erik Thomas eclipsed the 1,000 and 2,000 points, respectively, and put themselves in special company.
Manuel accomplished the feat during the Wildcats' 75-15 victory against Cambridge Christian, after scoring the 12 points needed in order to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
The center transferred from Brooks-DeBartolo during the offseason and has blossomed in coach Karim Nohra's system, helping lead the Wildcats to their third-consecutive postseason berth. Academy at the Lakes will play host to Avon Park Walker Memorial on Thursday at home in a Class 2A-Region 2 quarterfinal matchup.
"I was happy to see Tatiana reach the 1,000-point mark," Nohra said. "The plan was for her to play until she reached the mark and then sit her the rest of the contest and we were able to do that."
Scoring a lot of points is nothing new to Thomas, as it runs in the family. Thomas' sister, Sthefany, who now plays pro ball in Norway after four years at Clemson, scored 2,563 points during her time at Wesley Chapel. Thomas broke the 2,000-point mark last week against Wesley Chapel's crosstown rival, Wiregrass Ranch, with a 35 points and 11 rebounds, while leading the Wildcats to a 65-62 victory. For the Wildcats power forward, there was no better team to do it against.
"It's not every day where someone can score 2,000 points and to do it against a rival team — it means a lot," Thomas said. "Just extremely, extremely happy. This is just a big rivalry game. Both team's fans and players were just fired up and we just kept our heads in the game, focused and pulled it through."