TRAVERSE CITY — Tobin Schwannecke knew he sat just one point shy of 1,000 for his career at Traverse City Central.

It didn't change his approach.

Schwannecke guided the offense early as teammates Preston Briggs, Henry Goldkuhle and Sam Schmitt all found the bottom of the net before their point guard in the Trojans' 48-33 win over rival Traverse City West.

When that milestone basket finally came on a pull-up jump shot from the short corner midway through the first quarter, Schwannecke was given his moment.

The game paused briefly, Schwannecke and Central coach Travis Schuba met at mid court with a ceremonial ball and posed for a picture.

"It means a lot," Schwannecke said. "It's been a while since freshman year. It all pays off. I want to thank God, first and foremost, and my teammates. I couldn't do it without my teammates and coaches. I'm thankful for the situation I'm in to play for Traverse City Central."

Nothing changed after that. Schwannecke played the same way, flirting with a triple double as he finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

"He's a great athlete, a great competitor and becoming a great leader," Schuba said. "Without him on the floor, it's tough to do some of the things we want to do. I'm super hard on him because of how good he can be and how good he is already.

"He's a staple to what we do here. To score 1,000 points is a pretty special thing. Not many people do it at a Class A school. He's not coming out here chucking a bunch of shots — he's playing team basketball."

Schuba has told Schwannecke in the past to focus on getting 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, while trusting his teammates.

"Do that and we'll be deadly," Schuba said.

It definitely worked against the rival Titans on Saturday, a makeup date after the game was postponed Friday night.

The only time West (4-9) grabbed a lead in the game was 9-8 as the Titans strung together a pair of baskets following Schwannecke's 1,000th point.

It was a healthy repetition of attack and defend going forward.

Jack Bostwick gave a quick spurt of offense in the second quarter with four straight points to push Central's lead to eight, 20-12.

"Huge spark for us. Hit a couple shots and took that huge charge," Schuba said. "He'll be getting a candy bar for that. He's a kid that doesn't lack any confidence, whether he plays a full game or hasn't played in two games."

Goldkuhle, Briggs and Schwannecke each hit a 3-pointer in the third quarter to push the lead to double figures for the first time, 31-21, despite otherwise not being able to connect on a basket.

"They have three different kids hit threes for them," West coach Sanders Frye said. "It stalled our momentum, if we had any. We knew we didn't want to give up threes to them. It becomes a little demoralizing when they hit big shots late in the quarter. It's not a surprise, but we have to better at keying in on the opposing team's leading scorers."

Briggs finished with a game-high 17 points and seven rebounds. Bostwick and Goldkuhle each scored seven, the latter adding seven boards, two assists, two steals and two blocks.

And in the fourth quarter, Central couldn't miss at the free-throw line. The Trojans (10-7) went 14 for 16 in the game at the charity stripe. The Trojans were stout defensively all game.

"It starts with out defense," Schwannecke said. "Our coaches have been preaching. If you look at our team across the board, we have the size and athleticism. If we're buying in and focused on the defensive end, we can win a lot of games that way. No matter how we shoot, we're not going to lose many games allowing 33 points."

The game was a grind offensively for West. The Titans kept the score close and trimmed Central's lead to seven points, 38-31, but Frye said there wasn't enough consistency.

"We struggled on the offensive end. We did a lot of nice things defensively. We couldn't get any easy buckets," he said. "Finishing in the paint was a huge issue for us today."

It also didn't help that Odin Soffredine, who finished with a team-high nine points, fouled out on a technical in the fourth quarter.

"He was probably playing his best game. He finished as our leading scorer," Frye said. "He's the best facilitator. He's also our leading rebounder, so we struggled when he went out."

The victory kept Central atop the Big North Conference standings at 6-2. Petoskey sits a half-game back at 5-2, despite losing twice to Central.

West is fifth in the league at 2-5, ahead of Gaylord.

Sports Reporter

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