A surprise treat awaited Liz Dwyer Thursday night.
The Mattituck junior received a gift from her teammates and coach during the Tuckers’ victory against Southold/Greenport: a jar of 1,000 peanut M&Ms. It was a fitting tribute for the talented scorer who had just surpassed 1,000 career points.
Dwyer needed 22 points to reach the milestone and she did that in the third quarter of a 47-32 victory at Greenport High School. She finished the game with 24 to increase her career total to 1,002.
“It was kind of overwhelming,” Dwyer said. “Everyone was so happy, it made me feel so good. My teammates are like my second family.”
She became the fourth player in Mattituck history to reach 1,000 points, according to Mattituck coach Steve Van Dood. Barring any injuries, she’ll have her sights set on the all-time school record of 1,465 set by Stephenie Pisacano, a 2010 graduate, either late this year or early next year.
Dwyer, who’s now in her fourth year on varsity, can score in a variety of ways, making it a challenge for any team to slow her down. She’s off to a torrid start to this season, scoring 25, 25, 28 and 24 points in the Tuckers’ first four games.
“She can take the game outside and shoot 3’s and she can go inside and play big man too,” Van Dood said. “She’s a very versatile player. She has a unique ability to break down a defender, get to the rim and get fouled.”
Dwyer has been lights-out at the free-throw line so far this season, shooting 27 of 31 (87 percent). Fittingly, she scored her 1,000th point on a free throw.
As she stood at the line, she didn’t even realize how many points she had scored in the game at that point, she said.
“I usually lose track,” she said.
The game was paused briefly following Dwyer’s 1,000th point to acknowledge the accomplishment. She was presented with a basketball with her name and “1,000 points” written on it, along with flowers and a balloon.
“She was surprised,” Van Dood said. “She didn’t know we were going to do so much. It was a nice celebration.”
Dwyer said it made the moment extra special to see the excitement of her teammates.
“I couldn’t have done it without four years of teammates,” she said.
As a sophomore last year, Dwyer averaged 18.5 points per game and earned all-state honors while leading the Tuckers to a Long Island title. Coming into this year, Van Dood said Dwyer was well aware the milestone would be quickly within reach.
“We knew at the start of the season she was close to 900,” he said.
So how did Dwyer celebrate the accomplishment once she got home? She got to work on an essay for school — while enjoying some tasty M&Ms, of course.
Top photo caption: Liz Dwyer surrounded by her teammates after scoring her 1,000th point. (Credit: Garret Meade)