PITTSFIELD - Tank Roberson now stands alone at St. Joseph Central High School.
The senior guard became the school's all-time leading boys basketball scorer Saturday night, scoring 26 points in a 68-55 win over Monument Mountain.
Roberson tied the late Frank Scago on a steal and lay-up with 4:58 left in the game, and took the mark for himself with a lay-up at the 1:47 mark.
It wasn't announced until a stoppage in play a minute later, but the Boys and Girls Club crowd responded with a standing ovation as Roberson's teammates embraced him on the sideline.
"We've been very successful the last four years, mainly because of Tank Roberson," St. Joe coach Paul Brindle said. "He will go down in history as one of the best players not only to play at St. Joe, but Berkshire County. But I knew that when I got him as a freshman."
Roberson now has 1,522 career points, third on the county's all-time list. Only Hoosac Valley's Chad Misiuk (1,584) and Pittsfield's Sedale Jones (1,984) have scored more points in a career in the Berkshires.
"It's an honor," Roberson said. "Frank Scago was one of the best ever in Berkshire County."
Peter Oggiani led Monument with 23 points, but no other Spartan had more than eight points. Mike Carpenter added 19 points, 11 in the third quarter alone, for the Crusaders.
St. Joe's is in the Western Mass. Division III tournament draw with its 10th win, which means Roberson has one more opportunity for something that just eluded him last year -- and will likely be tougher to reach this year.
"When I first came here, I had goals for myself," he said. "So far, I've achieved every one of them except for a state championship."
Monument got as close as within six points of St. Joe in the second half, but Carpenter's strong third and a trio of second-half 3-pointers from Jon Bianchi allowed the Crusaders to push their lead to as much as 19 points in the fourth. Roberson ended the victors' 11-0 run in that stretch with a lay-up, followed by his steal and lay-in to tie Scago.
Despite nine first-half turnovers, Monument trailed just 29-25 at the half.
The Crusaders scored the first seven points of the second quarter to take a 13-point lead, but Oggiani answered right back with a personal 9-2 run to get Monument back within 6 points with 3:51 left. Ezra Marcus scored six points in the next 2:29 to further cut into St. Joe's lead, but a 3-point play by Roberson and a lay-in by Carpenter in the last 1:21 would allow the Crusaders to hold the lead at the break.
Turnovers hurt the Spartans in the first quarter (seven, to be exact), and the Crusaders in the second (with five). Those turnovers, and a 13-for-36 shooting performance in the first half, prevented St. Joe from pulling away early.
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