Gorham’s grand night: Granby senior reaches 1,000-point milestone

  • Zach Gorham, right, of Granby, scores against Cyrus Raines, of Belchertown, on his way to his 1000th career point, Wednesday in Granby. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Joe Bessette, right, of Granby, passes against Nolan Vogel, of Belchertown, Wednesday in Granby. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zach Gorham, right, of Granby, scores his 1,000th career point on this 3-pointer against Belchertown, Wednesday in Granby. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Granby freshman Mitchell L'Abbee scores a three-pointer against Belchertown, Wednesday in Granby. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • The Granby student section cheers for their team after Mitchell L'Abbee scored a three-point shot against Belchertown, Wednesday in Granby. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zach Gorham, of Granby, gets a hug from teammate Joe Desormier after scoring his 1000th career point during a game against Belchertown, Wednesday in Granby. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zach Gorham, of Granby, pulls a rope that released a banner bearing his name after scoring his 1000th career point during a game against Belchertown, Wednesday in Granby. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zach Gorham, of Granby, is included on a banner in the gym after scoring his 1000th career point during a game against Belchertown, Wednesday in Granby. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zach Gorham, right, of Granby, is swarmed by teammates, including Colin Stearns, left, and Mike Sosa, after scoring his 1,000th career point during a game against Belchertown, Wednesday in Granby. Gorham had 15 points in a 64-39 victory. Visit gazettenet.com for more photos. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zach Gorham, center right, of Granby, receives the game ball from his coach, Tim Sheehan, after scoring his 1000th career point during a game against Belchertown, Wednesday in Granby. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zach Gorham, of Granby, gets a hug from his coach, Tim Sheehan, after scoring his 1,000th career point during a game against Belchertown, Wednesday in Granby. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Mike Sosa, right, of Granby, shoots against Mike Laughner, of Belchertown, Wednesday in Granby. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Max Bowers, Donna Bowers, Zach Gorham, Jeff Gorham —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zach Gorham, of Granby, gets a hug from his father, Jeff Gorham, after scoring his 1000th career point during a game against Belchertown, Wednesday in Granby. His mother, Donna Bowers is shown, left. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zach Gorman, right, of Granby, scores his 996th career point against Corey Lanoue, of Belchertown, Wednesday in Granby. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Joe Desormier, right, of Granby, passes against Nolan Vogel, of Granby, Wednesday in Granby. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Mitch Medina, left, of Belchertown, moves the ball against Joe Desormier, of Granby, Wednesday in Granby. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Joe Desormier, left, of Granby, moves the ball against Mike Laughner, of Belchertown, Wednesday in Granby. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zach Gorham, of Granby, scores his 997th career point with a free throw against Belchertown, Wednesday in Granby. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ethan King, left, of Granby, passes against Mike Laughner, of Belchertown, Wednesday in Granby. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Joe Bessette, left, of Granby, draws a foul from Mike Laughner, of Belchertown, Wednesday in Granby. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

For the Gazette
Published: 2/22/2017 11:09:49 PM

By HENRY BRECHTER

GRANBY — Just three points shy of 1,000 entering the third quarter, Granby center Zach Gorham released a 3-pointer from the corner with the Belchertown defense bearing down on him.

The shot fell, and moments later, Granby’s updated 1,000-point club banner descended as well, bearing Gorham’s name.

The center led the Rams to a 64-39 victory over the Orioles in front of a packed gym on senior night.

Gorham’s 3-pointer 42 seconds into the second half was a special moment for he and his team, which features six other seniors.

“There were people everywhere, on top of me,” said Gorham of the moments after his shot. “It was really great, an awesome feeling.”

Added coach Tim Sheehan, “He’s been with us all four years, and he’s always been a team-first guy. He told me ‘I don’t care if I get it, I just want to win games.’ It’s a special night for him.”

Gorham became the fourth Granby boys’ basketball player to reach 1,000 points in the past seven seasons. He finished the night with 15 points, and controlled defensive rebounding for the entire game.

Just four days after Palmer junior Matt Niemczura scored his 1,000th point in a 61-43 victory over Granby, Gorham seemed determined to match the milestone.

He ran the screen-and-roll with senior point guard Joe Desormier for much of the game, out-jumping the Belchertown defense for easy layups.

Just before halftime, a Gorham 3 that would have been his 1,000th point hit the front rim and went out. But the next one, with 7:18 left in the third quarter, did not miss.

“It’s really special, it feels great,” said Gorham. “I’ve been working toward it for a while, and it feels good to have all the work pay off.”

Each team started the game hot. The winless Orioles looked more like a tournament team in the first quarter, hitting open 3s and defending the paint aggressively with junior big man Mitch Medina. After one quarter, The Orioles trailed 18-16.

But Belchertown fell behind in the next two quarters by succumbing to Granby’s constant ball pressure, which forced errant passes and ill-advised shots. By the end of the third quarter, Granby led 49-26.

Any momentum Belchertown had left was likely ousted by Gorham’s milestone 3-pointer. The game was immediately put on hold as Gorham’s family and friends took to the court for a photo and the unveiling of the banner.

The atmosphere was one of excitement, but also frustration as the game progressed. The Belchertown bench was adamant that they weren’t getting the benefit of foul calls, and were letting the referees know it. Moments into the fourth quarter, Orioles coach Matt Stenius was hit with a technical foul.

Minutes later, Belchertown’s Noah Vogel and Granby’s Ethan King had to be separated after a scuffle, drawing a double technical call.

“That’s the way it goes,” said Sheehan. “It’s a rivalry game.”

The rest of the game was played without incident, and the Rams scored 15 points in the final quarter to seal the victory. Medina led Belchertown with 17 points and five blocks.

Wednesday’s game was the final regular season contest for each team. Granby (12-8) will look to the playoffs, while Belchertown will look to recover from a second-straight winless season.

It was the final game for Belchertown senior Hayden Bennis.

“If things go the way we think, we’ll end up as a two seed,” said Sheehan. “We’re chasing Hopkins (Academy) just like everyone else, so we’ll see what happens. Anything can happen when you get into the tournament.”


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