Goergen is Southland’s new scoring champPublished 8:18pm Monday, December 3, 2012
ADAMS — From the moment Southland senior Mike Goergen stepped on the court as a starter in his freshman year, he knew there was a chance he could become Southland’s all-time leading scorer in boys basketball.
Last Friday night, Goergen made good on that chance when he scored his 1,282nd career point to surpass Brad Tompkins, who had held the record since 1984.
Tompkins, who played with Goergen’s dad in high school, was on hand to congratulate Goergen after he reached the milestone.
“(The record) was something that was a goal and it came true. I’m glad it happened and now it’s out of the way,” Goergen said. “Brad’s had it for 28 years and I was glad he could be there to celebrate with me. My dad knows him pretty well and he’s a nice guy, so that’s pretty cool.”
Tompkins, who now lives in Rochester, was glad to get back to Southland as it had been awhile since he’d seen the Rebels play in Adams.
When Tompkins played with Goergen’s dad ‘Butch’ in Adams, he said it wasn’t uncommon for Butch to store cough drops in his wrist bands during games and a few times per year, those cough drops would fall onto the court and the game would have to be delayed.
Needless to say, it was a little surreal for Tompkins to see the younger Goergen break his record on Friday.
“It was great. I love getting back there and it was an honor to be a part of,” Tompkins said. “Mike’s a much better athlete than I was. He’s smooth and he’s quick.”
Southland head coach Jon Thalberg was 10-years old when Tompkins originally set the record and he remembers shooting hoops with Brad and his twin brother Scott in the Southland gym.
“As a 10-year old, I looked up to them because they were the kings of the school with a great football team and a great basketball team,” Thalberg said. “It was great to see Brad come out on Friday so he could be here for that special moment.”
Goergen was happy to break the scoring record, but he was probably just as happy to be on the court competing again. Goergen, who has verbally committed as a walk-on for the North Dakota State football team, injured his elbow before Southland’s football season and he didn’t play until the final game of the year. Thalberg wasn’t even sure Goergen would play this season when the injury occurred.
“(Friday) was my first full game since tearing my elbow,” Goergen said. “It makes me even more motivated to go out and play harder.”
While he’s started for the past three seasons, Goergen has made some sacrifices in his basketball career. He’s only 6-foot, 1-inch tall, but he’s basically played center his entire basketball career.
Goergen said he’s learned to embrace guarding bigger players and he’s never asked to be moved to another spot.
Thalberg said the scoring record couldn’t have come to a better kid than Goergen.
“I’ve never heard Mike complain about anything, he’ll play anywhere as long as on he’s on the floor,” Thalberg said. “He hates when I take him out of practice and he hates when I take him out of games, but he’s gotta rest sometimes.”
The Rebels will play at Saint Charles Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Southland’s Mike Goergen’s averages for the past three seasons:
2009-2010 10 6
2010-2011 16.6 6
2011-2012 19.2 6.8