Only two players in the history of Triad High basketball have more points than Knights senior guard Noah Moss, though he says his grandfather has met both of them.
Moss moved into third place on the school’s all-time scoring list Tuesday with 18 points in a 50-49 win over Civic Memorial, giving him 1,337 career points.
“It’s a great honor,” said Moss, a 5-foot-10 senior who scored 18 points on Monday and Tuesday while helping the Knights post victories over Granite City and Civic Memorial. “Whenever I got it, I didn’t even know about it until Coach (Josh) Hunt told me about it last night.”
No. 1 on the list with 1,962 points is former Triad all-stater and University of Missouri player Brad Droy, a 1975 graduate. Dennis Neumann (1,929 points) is second, and Moss is third after passing Dave Wells (1,301 points).
Moss is a four-year starter whose great uncle is longtime Centralia High coach, former University of Iowa assistant and former Carbondale High Athletic Director Rick Moss. Moss’ father, Corey Moss, was Highland’s top 3-point shooter when his career ended.
Hunt said that while Noah Moss has been the team’s top scorer for three years, he does plenty more than score.
“That says a lot about the kid as far as the player he is and all the hard work he’s put in,” Hunt said. “You couldn’t ask for it to happen to a better kid. He’s the ultimate teammate and a great kid to coach, too.”
After averaging 11.4 points as a freshman, Moss averaged 17.8 points as a sophomore and 17.7 points as a junior.
“I know his main focus is he doesn’t really care about points,” Hunt said. “He cares about wins. He didn’t even realize last night until I told him that he had jumped up to No. 3 on the all-time list. The only thing he cares about is winning.
“He’s an unselfish player, but he has a knack for scoring, and he’s got a knack for getting to the free-throw line, and he’s a deadly free-throw shooter.”
There is no doubt about that.
In the last three seasons, Moss has sank 404 of his 482 free-throw attempts (84 percent). He was successful on 90.2 percent of his foul shots as a junior, making 148-of-164 attempts at the line.
More important to Moss is the team’s 2-0 start. The Knights were 10-18 last season and a combined 14-41 the two seasons before that.
“Starting out the season 2-0, which hasn’t been done here for a while now, is nice,” said Moss, whose team is shooting for the Mississippi Valley Conference title and a regional title as well. “We’ve had a losing record every year, so it feels good to be 2-0. I would trade my points away for wins any night.”
Moss has visited Greenville College and hopes to play college basketball somewhere.
“It’s something I really want to do after high school, so I’m hoping I can get a few more coaches to talk to me and see where it goes,” he said.
Hunt is 2-0 as a boys basketball coach after spending the past three seasons as Triad’s girls basketball coach. Before that he was a Triad boys basketball assistant for seven seasons.
Around the court
It’s still early, but already some attention-grabbing things have happened on the metro-east basketball scene:
▪ Gibault High senior Trevor Davis surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career Monday in the Hawks’ 65-40 season-opening victory over Odin at the Metro-East Lutheran Thanksgiving Tip-Off Classic. The 6-foot-3 senior scored 24 points and hit 11-of-18 shots, while pulling down 13 rebounds. Davis averaged 15.6 points and 9.6 rebounds, both team-highs, for the 24-10 Hawks last season while helping them reach the Jacksonville Super-Sectional.
▪ Althoff senior and St. Louis University recruit Jordan Goodwin went off for 35 points Monday, including 32 in the first three quarters, as the Crusaders beat O’Fallon 88-68. A day later, Althoff senior Marvin Bateman dropped nine 3-pointers and 29 points in an 82-39 win over the Highland Bulldogs at the Highland Thanksgiving Tournament.
▪ Speaking of 3-point shooting at Highland, Edwardsville senior Oliver Stephen nailed 10 of his 12 3-point attempts Monday and scored 34 points in the Tigers’ season-opening victory over Waterloo. On Tuesday, Edwardsville senior guard Mark Smith was 13-of-17 from the floor and led all scorers with 31 points in a 66-55 victory over Carbondale. Smith picked up 22 assists in his first two games for the Tigers, who have yet to play senior starter A.J. Epenesa.
▪ Another of the expected top scorers in the area is Marissa senior Kyle Smith, who erupted for 37 points in the Meteors’ season-opening 58-50 win over Litchfield. Thirteen points came at the free throw line for Smith, who averaged 21.6 points last season as a junior.
Preseason BND Boys Basketball Rankings
Rankings for metro-east teams; voting by area coaches and News-Democrat staff. First-place votes are in parentheses; records from last season.
Large school rankings (Class 3A-4A)
East St. Louis (1)
Also receiving votes: Cahokia (12-16), Alton (16-11), O’Fallon (8-19), Mater Dei (21-8), Collinsville (9-20), Triad (10-18), Central (31-5). Columbia (22-7)
Small school rankings (Class 1A-4A)
Also receiving votes: Wesclin (13-15), Roxana (21-11), Red Bud (9-21), Madison (6-16)