Oconee County basketball senior standout Zach Oechsle scored his 1,000th career point during last Friday’s game against Stephens County. Oechsle contributed 21 points in the Warriors’ 81-48 defeat of the Indians.
While family and friends knew he would reach the milestone on Friday night, Oechsle did not know until the mid-game celebration started.
“I wasn’t expecting it at first,” Oechsle said. “I thought I needed, like, 10 or 15 points, then they just stopped the clock. I was kind of in shock for a second.”
Oechsle scored his 1,000th point when his basket pushed the Warriors to a 21-16 lead over the Indians with 7:41 remaining in the second quarter.
“I’ve known he was close for like two weeks and I’ve kind of had to hide it from him and I had to play really dumb,” said Oconee County head coach Thad Burgess. “What an unbelievable kid. If there’s anybody that has deserved anything he gets, it’s him. He’s very, very unselfish, he loves to play, plays every day.”
Oechsle helped the Warriors earn their ninth-straight victory. He credits his team for his success.
“My coaches, they have a lot of trust in me and we have a lot of chemistry as a team, so I’m able to do my stuff and help my teammates do their stuff,” Oechsle said.
Oechsle’s parents, teammates and coaches surrounded him as the game was stopped and he was presented with a commemorative game ball.
His grandmother, Mary, watched the game and celebration from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
“She’s always been a really big fan of mine, always telling me ‘good game’ after every game,” Oechsle said. “She always watches every game. I appreciate her.”
Throughout Oechsle’s four years with the Warrior program, Burgess said he has watched the senior mature and grow in confidence.
“I’ve never had any doubt about him at any time,” Burgess said. “He’s a leader amongst leaders. He’s just so much fun to watch.”