Post 1000 points

Nick Post of the Lecanto boys basketball team is presented with a ball after scoring his 1,000th career point Friday night at home against Crystal River. Pictured with Nick, from left, are sister Jenna Post, mother Kelly Post and father Herb Neeld.

LECANTO — It was only fitting that Lecanto senior Nick Post scored the final points of Friday night’s 77-60 victory at home over county rival Crystal River.

The Panther joined an exclusive club earlier in the evening, when he became just the third boys basketball player in school history to reach 1,000 career points.

Post joined former Panthers Nick Cortes and John Barbieri in the 1,000-point club with 3:32 left in the first half, when he drove to the basket, scored and was fouled. After a brief ceremony to present Post with a ball with the achievement written on it, the Panther sank the free throw for point No. 1,001.

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Cortes is the school leader with 1,319 points and Barbieri finished his career with 1,268. Post now stands at 1,014.

“Knowing I’m the third person to reach that point means a lot,” Post said. “It’s awesome. My teammates push me to score and give me the ball when they need to. It’s honestly a team achievement, because I had to get the ball from them to do it.”

Post said he knew how many points he needed coming into the game (11) to reach the mark, but didn’t let that affect his play.

“I was kind of keeping track of it, but I just let the game come to me,” he said.

Doing it at home against a big rival made the night even more special.

“It made it feel so good. County rivals at our place, got to defend the home court. It felt amazing,” Post said.

Lecanto head coach Frank Vilardi said Post has definitely earned his honors.

“He works really hard on his game in the offseason and in practice. The last four years he’s really worked hard and it’s shown with his accomplishments,” Vilardi said. “He’s a tremendous player. He’s one of the best players we’ve ever had here at Lecanto and we’ve had some pretty good ones. He’s still got a lot of work to do the rest of the season and I think he’s looking forward to that.”

Post showed off his versatility on his way to a game-high 25 points on Friday. He had a pair of 3-pointers – including one at the halftime buzzer – scored inside and went 11-for-13 from the free throw line.

“He can score at all three levels. He can score from the 3-point line, He can score mid-range. He’s strong and can score inside,” Vilardi said.

The Panthers jumped out to a 22-9 lead by the end of the first quarter and took a 48-28 lead into halftime.

The Pirates used a 14-0 run in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 12, but the Panthers held on to sweep the season series.

“I thought Crystal River played really hard in the second half. I don’t think we matched their intensity in the second half,” Vilardi said. “We ended up winning the game, which was good, but we didn’t play our best game, but Crystal River was part of that.”

The Panthers improved to 12-4, while the Pirates fell to 3-11.

Ethan Nicoleau led the Pirates with 16 points, while Issac Edwards added 12 and David Paulen had 11.

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