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  • Writer's pictureMohammed Fuad

Smith reaches milestone, leads HHS past St. Joe


Dan Russoman/THG. Kenny Smith reached 1,000 points for his career in Hammonton’s win against St. Joe. See page 39 for Story.

HAMMONTON—Hammonton High School defeated St. Joseph Academy 60-58 in a tight affair to extend its winning streak to five games on Jan. 12.. The Blue Devils improved to 7-3 overall and 5-1 in the Cape Atlantic League (CAL) while St. Joe drops to 4-8 overall and 1-5 in the CAL.


Fans in attendance also witnessed Blue Devils senior point guard Kenny Smith score his 1,000 career point. Smith, who entered the game with 999 career points, hit a 3-pointer in the game’s opening minutes to achieve the milestone.


In addition to achieving the milestone, Smith had a big game against St. Joe, where he scored 30 points in the game.


“Very exciting, especially in a rivalry game, playing in front of family and friends,” Smith said.


Soon after hitting the shot, Smith trotted down the sidelines to take in the moment. Friends and family of Smith were there to witness the moment, and he would later be mobbed by his teammates as the crowd gave Smith a standing ovation.


“It was definitely a humbling experience, definitely motivation to have more moments like this,” Smith said.


“I’m thankful to have this experience with my team, family and supporters.,” he said.


Both rivals battled it out in a close matchup that saw the game have 10 lead changes until the end of the third quarter, where the Blue Devils took a 40-39 lead and maintained it to the end.


“I’m just happy to get the win out of all of them,” Smith said. “Tough game that shouldn’t have been close but we got the job done.”


Smith’s 30 point performance came from a dominating first half. In what was a back and forth affair between both teams, Smith scored 16 points in the second quarter, including four three-pointers. Smith finished the half with 19 points, which kept the Blue Devils in the game. St. Joe did keep Smith in check the rest of the game as Smith only scored eight points. His supporting cast helped him out, with Tavonne Barber and Jake Edwards both making crucial shots in the fourth quarter to pad their lead.


With the milestone in reach and playing against an in-town rival in St. Joe, Smith said that those factors helped motivate him to bring out his best performance.


“A school rival brings out the best in both teams,” Smith said.


“I knew they were going to give me theirs and we gave them ours, so with bragging rights on the line, it definitely motivated me to go out there and impact the game the best I could,” he said.


Smith has also had big moments in the Blue Devils’ athletic history. A running back for the football team, Smith rushed for 208 yards against Eastern Regional High School earlier in the year. He also broke the school’s single game rushing record against Rancocas Valley High School, finishing the game with 295 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Between the 1,000 points and the rushing record, Smith said that both milestones were equally favorite moments.

“Both great achievements, especially when you worked for moments like this for so long, so it’s definitely a blessing,” Smith said.

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