ARMSTRONG- Scoring a thousand points for a high-school basketball player is an accomplishment that isn’t easy. Dalton Loschen joined the elite 1,000-point club during Armstrong’s road game against Danville Schlarman on Feb. 1.
The 1000th point for Loschen came, during the third quarter when he drove the basket and was fouled, and was able to get "and one" bucket. The game was stopped and Loschen was awarded with the game ball.
"The crowd went crazy," Loschen said. "I was just like kind of like, Wow, I did this. It was a crazy experience."
Loschen said his teammates are the main reason he has been able to score a thousand points in his four years of playing. He said the Armstrong guards keep setting him up with ball.
"If my teammates can get me the ball down there, then I shoot high percentage," Loschen said." I just make the shots within 5 feet, and I’m good to go. I don’t take a lot of outside jumpers or anything like that. Just stay in the paint; that’s where probably 900-plus of my points have come from, down low. Getting fouled and shooting free throws."
Though Armstrong boys coach Deon Mennenga has only been with the team for one year, he knows that Loschen hitting a thousand career points matters and he is proud of his accomplishment.
"Anytime a high school player scores a thousand, it’s a big deal as far as I’m concerned," Mennenga said. "He’s had a really good senior season. He’s worked hard to get it."
Darren Loschen is the father of Dalton and the principal at Armstrong High School. For Darren it was a proud moment to see his son get 1000 points. "Truthfully he’s a good athlete," Darren said. "Here at Armstrong he’s been given that opportunity. It was a proud moment when he got to it. He had a lot of family there to see him to do it, so it was kind of neat."
The Armstrong boys basketball team overall record is 7-23, but scoring a thousand points has been a highlight for the year. Though according to Darren, his son puts his team ahead of himself.
"I know our season overall has not been the greatest, but this has been one of the bright spots in it." Darren said. "Dalton is very humble about it. He kept right on going. A thousand points to him is a neat thing, a great accomplishment, but he wants to see his team win and that’s been a struggle."
After Dalton finishes his last year with the Trojans and graduates from Armstrong High School, he won’t be playing basketball in college. Instead he will be playing his favorite sport, baseball. Dalton will play baseball at Quincy University as a preferred walk-on.
"My brothers played it, and so I grew up watching them," Dalton said. "I just fell in love with the game. It’s just a fun game. I’m an outfielder, so I get to make the fun plays, like diving catches and throwing kids at home. Just the thrill of that is what makes it all worth it."
Dalton will be studying to become a pilot at Quincy. His interest of planes started when he was young playing with model planes.
"As a little kid I loved playing with paper airplanes, and I think that’s when it really developed," Dalton said. "I went to some discovery flights. I flew a little system plane and if you can handle that you can start doing your flight training. That’s just something I started looking forward to."
Contact Ben Theobald at email@example.com and on Twitter @theobald_ben.