Fox boys basketball notes: Scharnowski reaches 1,000 in style; St. Charles teams honor Hardy

Memorable moments have been a part of Drew Scharnowski's high school basketball career at Burlington Central.

A year ago, Scharnowski was a junior starter for the Rockets, who broke the single-season victory record with a 31-4 mark that included a Class 3A regional championship.

A week ago, Scharnowski experienced another memorable moment during the Rockets' 70-55 Fox Valley Conference win over Crystal Lake Central.

Midway through the third quarter, the 6-foot-9 senior forward/center became the school's 11th player to reach the 1,000-point career mark.

He did it in true Scharnowski fashion - on a breakaway reverse dunk.

"The ball was poked out and (teammate) Mitchell Pedrigi got the ball to me," said Scharnowski, who added an element of surprise for the occasion.

"My dad often tells me I have boring jams, so I wanted to spice things up for him."

"He dunks so much in such a variety of ways that it was a very fitting way to get his 1,000th point, and to do it in front of a packed house on our youth basketball night was just an awesome experience to witness," said Rockets coach Brett Porto.

After the milestone achievement, Scharnowski was mobbed by his teammates during a brief stoppage of play.

"My teammates were all out on the court," he said. "It was pretty cool. I couldn't have done it without my teammates and coaches."

Porto was proud of his big man while watching history take place.

"I'm just so excited for him because he has put so much work into improving his game," said the coach. "He has shot more shots in our gym before most kids get out of bed, so to see that moment happen for him and how the home crowd responded was such a great moment."

Scharnowski currently ranks ninth on the Rockets' all-time scoring list, passing up Caleb Lamz (1998) after scoring 25 points Tuesday against Jacobs - including four more dunks.

"If you had told me my freshman year that I would go on to score 1,000 points, I would have thought you were crazy," he said. "It's cool to see the growth because of the time and effort I've put in."

Following the game, Scharnowski signed autographs and took pictures with several younger kids in attendance.

"The kids really look up to you," he said.

Hardy honored:

Round two of the St. Charles East-St. Charles North rivalry featured 6 ties and 12 lead changes before the North Stars closed with an 8-0 over the final 1:50 for a 69-62 victory last Friday.

Junior Jake Furtney, who scored a career-high 29 points with 12 rebounds, enjoyed playing before a near-sellout crowd in the Saints' gym.

"The atmosphere is so amazing here," he said. "It's so fun to play at. We just tried to stay calm, have fun, take care of the ball and get a win."

In the process, it ended the North Stars' 10-game DuKane Conference losing streak.

"East is a good basketball team - they just beat Wheaton South, the best team in the conference, so I think this is a big win for us to get our momentum going into the last part of the season."

North Stars coach Tom Poulin wanted his team to simply enjoy itself.

"If you're getting all stressed and anxious, you're not going to enjoy it," said Poulin. "Your best is going to come out if you're loose. That was the message we used last spring with our girls softball team (Class 4A state champions) - let's make sure these guys enjoy it.

"This (East gym) is the spot - it's the best. My mom's here. It's a home away from home. There have been some heartbreaking moments, but there's been some great ones, too. There's nothing better than coming here with a full house."

The teams came together to honor the late Saints/Washington University standout Justin Hardy, who passed away due to stomach cancer in 2022. Both teams wore "Mind Over Matter" T-shirts during pregame warmups, with proceeds benefiting the Hardy Foundation.

"It was a great night - a great tribute to Justin," said Saints coach Patrick Woods, who delivered a brief speech before the contest. "Tom (Poulin) called me Friday morning and asked if he could get 15 T-shirts for his guys. That was very classy."

"This is about the St. Charles community - not East or North," said Poulin.

Eagles rising:

Aurora Christian (17-9) coach Dan Beebe always welcomes a rugged schedule for his team, which dropped a triple-overtime decision to Riverside-Brookfield late last month before defeating St. Francis, 57-46.

"We like to play the higher enrollment schools," said Beebe, whose team suffered narrow losses to St. Edward and Wheaton Academy last week. "That's been a staple for Aurora Christian in really all our sports.

"We're a fraction of what R-B is, and St. Francis is three times the size of our school. You take on the challenges because when you get to the state series you can see what happens. It's one of the reasons why we have six state championships and 13 state trophies in the last decade."

Burlington Central's Andrew Scharnowski soars past Jacobs' Amari Owens, left, and Jackson Martucci, right, in varsity boys basketball at Burlington Tuesday night. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local
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