ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — Zoos and national parks frown upon it, but they also spell it wrong on their warning signs.
The Meigs boys basketball team fed Weston Baer the rock for three quarters, and the junior poured in a career-high 35 points while becoming the first Marauder to surpass the 1,000-point plateau in two decades Friday night during a 76-46 victory over visiting River Valley in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division contest at Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium.
Baer — who entered the night exactly 35 points short of the milestone — became the ninth player in school history to reach quadruple digits in a career following a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 12.1 seconds remaining in the third canto.
The historic basket ultimately capped a 32-14 surge after halftime that gave the Marauders (12-10, 7-5 TVC Ohio) a commanding 61-32 advantage headed into the finale.
Baer — who hibernated on the bench during the final period — netted 21 of his 35 points in that pivotal third quarter run, and his accomplishment allowed him to join the rare company of Mike Chancey (1986), Trevor Harrison (1993) and Daniel Hannan (1999) in the 1,000-point boys club.
In talking about the career achievement, Baer was more proud of the fact that the accomplishment came in a victory. He was also quite humble in acknowledging the fact that he was the first Marauder to do something like this in two decades.
“First of all, it was a great win. It’s nice to send the seniors out with a victory. This is an awesome moment, but I definitely couldn’t have done this without my teammates. They were very unselfish tonight and were really fighting hard to get me open looks. Half of those shots wouldn’t have come without them,” Baer said. “It was just cool, a great time and a great night. This is probably one of the best moments of my life.
“Not a lot of players have reached this point in their career, and it’s neat to do this in my junior year because I don’t know if anyone as ever done that at Meigs. I’m glad this came in a win at home, and I’m glad that we can add a name up there for the first time in 20 years. It’s just an awesome feeling, that’s all I can say.”
Baer finished the night 13-of-28 from the floor — including a 5-of-11 effort from behind the arc — and also went 4-of-5 from the free throw line. Baer had just three points through eight minutes of play and was up to 14 markers at the break.
The Raiders (3-19, 0-12) were competitive early on as Meigs took a slim 11-9 edge after eight minutes, but an 18-9 second quarter charge allowed the Maroon and Gold to extend their lead out to 29-18 at the intermission.
MHS hit 13-of-25 shot attempts in the third stanza, with Baer capping the fireworks that resulted in a 29-point cushion entering the fourth. The hosts closed regulation with a 15-14 spurt to wrap up the 30-point triumph.
The Marauders also claimed a season sweep after posting an 84-33 decision in Bidwell back Jan. 11.
Meigs outrebounded the Silver and Black by a 34-24 overall margin, including a sizable 21-4 edge on the offensive glass. The hosts also committed only seven of the 32 turnovers in the contest.
MHS netted 29-of-73 shot attempts for 40 percent, including an 8-of-20 effort from behind the arc for 40 percent. The Maroon and Gold also went 10-of-16 at the free throw line for 63 percent.
Cooper Darst followed Baer with 12 points and Zach Bartrum was next with 11 markers, while Morgan Roberts and Nick Lilly respectively added five and four points. Lilly also hauled in a team-best nine boards.
Cole Betzing, Ty Bartrum, Wyatt Hoover and Bobby Musser each contributed two points, while Austin Mahr completed the winning tally with one point.
The Raiders made 16-of-36 field goal attempts for 44 percent, including a 6-of-19 effort from 3-point territory for 32 percent.
Jordan Lambert led RVHS with 12 points, followed by Cole Young with 11 points and Myles Morrison with nine markers. Rory Twyman and Chase Caldwell were next with with four points apiece, while Mason Rhodes and Chase Barber completed the scoring with three markers each.
Meigs honored seniors Cole Betzing, Zach Bartrum, Nick Lilly and Wyatt Hoover before the game for their collective years of dedication to the program.
The Marauders return to action Monday when they travel to Jackson High School for a Division III sectional semifinal contest against South Point at 5 p.m.
The Raiders return to the hardwood on Tuesday when they travel to Southeastern High School for a Division II sectional semifinal contest against Gallia Academy at 8 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.