The Saratoga Sun -

That's just grand!

Teegan Love joins exclusive 1,000 Point Club early in final season

 

December 23, 2020

Joshua Wood

Saratoga's Teegan Love poses with the basketball awarded to him after surpassing 1,000 points for his basketball career.

In recent years, the student athletes of Carbon County School District No. 2 (CCSD2) have been awfully busy breaking records and rewriting history books. Teegan Love, who is a senior at Saratoga Middle High School (SMHS) has had the distinct privilege to do both.

Love was just one of the integral members of the Saratoga Panthers when they came away from Casper as 1A State Champions, the first time in school history, last season. While that was quite the achievement to be proud of, the basketball player was on the very edge of another great accomplishment when the season ended.

When the Panthers hosted the Dubois Rams on December 11, Love surpassed 1,000 career points.

"It's a funny story because last year, after we won state, Coach (Jason) Williams added it all up and I was at 994 points," said Love. "Then we went into quarantine and everything. I actually kind of forgot about it until the week of our first game and then Coach Williams remembered."

All Love had to do was score 6 points during the game against Dubois, which was easy enough as the senior often finds himself in the scorebook after each match. The only downside, if there was one to be found, was that current health orders prevented the SMHS gymnasium from being filled with spectators and fans. Despite that, Love was in good spirits about it all.

"It felt good. When the ball went in the hoop, I could just hear the crowd get louder and louder," Love said. "It would have been cool if everybody was there and not limited seating but, for what we had, it was pretty cool."

The senior is not the first SHMS student to surpass the 1,000 point mark. During Love's freshman year, a fellow teammate and team leader, Gage Bartlett, was able to pass that grand total as well. To be able to join Bartlett in that rather exclusive club is a great feeling for Love.

"It feels good because, my freshman year, I looked up to Gage a lot," said Love. "I remember that night he did drop 1,000. It's just kind of cool to be following in his footsteps and be that guy now."

In the same way that Love looked up to Bartlett, he hopes that there are underclassmen on the team now that look up to him. 

"I hope a lot of them do because I think a lot of them are capable of doing that. The Bartlett Boys (Grant and Grady), they're going to be good, and Heston Fisher," said Love. "Kids like that are coming up, I think they can accomplish the same goals I can."

To be able to accomplish those goals, however, means committing themselves outside of the normal practice hours. His advice to underclassmen is simple.

"Just work hard. I've been coming to the gym every morning before school," Love said. "You can't just go to practice for that two hours and expect to be great. Extra work, hard work, and believing in yourself."

Not only does Love join his former teammate in the 1,000 Point Club, but he joins other CCSD2 athletes as well. In 2018, Encampment's Wyatt Cox scored 1,000 career points. In 2019, Hanna, Elk Mountain, Medicine Bow's Shane and Conor McGraw also surpassed 1,000 points. 

For the Saratoga Panther who has been playing basketball since his kindergarten year, surpassing 1,000 points is only one accomplishment on the road to a greater goal. That goal, however, can't be measured in the scorebook.

"My goal as a kid, I just wanted to be the best Saratoga basketball player that this town's ever seen and I don't know how I'm going to do that statistically, but I just want to be known as that," said Love.

Helping lead a team to the first championship in school history and scoring 1,000 career points might just be a good start.

 

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