SOMERS, N.Y. – Somers High School boys basketball star John Decker ended the final regular season of his high school career with a bang Monday.
Decker scored 59 points in Somers’ Senior Night game against North Salem to lead the Tuskers to an 85-68 win. And he didn’t even realize the magnitude of what he was doing.
“I really just felt like I was on fire,” Decker said. “I really didn’t know how many points I had until somebody in the crowd yelled ‘Three more for 52,’ which is what I needed for 1,000.”
Decker scored his 1,000th career point in a 24-point fourth quarter outburst. Hitting the 1,000-point milestone was all the more impressive considering he has only played varsity basketball for three years.
The senior also surpassed Dobbs Ferry’s Eric Paschall for the Section 1 scoring title. Decker finished his senior season with 463 points and an average of 25.7 points per game. Paschall registered 25.3 points per game.
Decker hit 10 three-pointers on Monday, four of them in the fourth quarter, and sank 17 of 20 free throws, including 12 of 12 in the final quarter. When Decker learned after the game that he was four points short of the all-time single-game Section 1 scoring record, he was angry with himself because, had he made those other three free throws, he thought coach Chris DiCintio would have left him in the game to make a run at the record.
The senior said his strong performance and the team’s win should provide plenty of confidence and momentum as the playoffs arrive. Somers is the No. 8 seed in the Class A playoffs and will face Gorton on Friday. Somers finished the season at 13-5, the school’s most wins since 1992.
Decker credited DiCintio, who is in his first year as head coach of the Tuskers, for the transformation of the program into a legitimate contender.
“As a group, we really put in the off season that we wanted to work hard and change the name of Somers basketball,” Decker said.
The senior said he and the Tuskers know the better teams are ahead of them in the bracket, but he believes that they are “definitely a contender for the gold ball.”
Decker said after Somers beat Iona Prep back in the Slam Dunk Tournament in December that “no one knows Somers.” Now, the rest of Class A has started to pay attention, but Decker is ready to lead the Tuskers into the postseason even with the added pressure and expectations.
“We’re just clicking on all ends right now,” Decker said, “but I think we’re going to surprise people deep in the playoffs.”