Nutley High’s Matt Schettino joined an elite fraternity, becoming just the fifth player in the history of the boys basketball program to eclipse 1,000 points in a varsity career.
Schettino, a senior, needed just one point heading into a game against Cedar Grove, on Feb. 13, to reach 1,000.
“It was a stressful one point,” said Schettino, with a laugh, in recalling the situation. “My family was there. I was a little nervous, but it all worked out.”
Schettino had four points in the game, as Nutley won its fourth straight, defeating the Panthers, 65-50. The Raiders were 12-8 heading into a game with Clifton, on Feb. 17. On Feb. 22, Nutley closes out its regular season, at Memorial of West New York and on Feb. 26, the team begins play in the NJSIAA Tournament, at Irvington, starting at 7 p.m.
Matt Schettino and head coach Bob Harbison. (Click on photo for larger image)
Nutley is seeded 12th in North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3. If it defeated fifth seeded Irvington, the Raiders would be at fourth seeded Voorhees or could possibly host 13th seeded Parsippany Hills, on Feb. 28.
Schettino is the first player in Bob Harbison’s run as Nutley’s head coach to score 1,000 career points. He added his name to a list which includes Dave Siepert, Anthony Christy, Marty Higgins and Bobby Bock. Higgins, a 1988 graduate, is the school’s all-time leading scorer, with 1,855 points. Ironically, Higgins’ son, a junior also named Marty, should join the 1,000 point plateau, probably early next season.
“It means a great deal to be one of the first five to score 1,000 at Nutley,” said Schettino. “And I know Marty will be there soon, too. Marty and I have grown up together and he’s a tremendous player.”
Schettino, a 5’11” guard, played football and basketball, growing up. He admits football was his first love, but a series of injuries made him give up the gridiron and focus on the hardwood.
The son of Neysha and Daniel Schettino, Matt hasn’t finalized his plans for this coming fall, as far as college, or possibly joining the Military.
Harbison was very pleased that Schettino reached the plateau.
“Matt has really stepped up his game this year,” said Harbison. “He’s such a talented kid, with a knack for going to the basket, and has become a complete player.”
Schettino was proud of reach 1,000, but credited his teammates first.
“I would never be able to do this without my teammates, for sure,” said Schettino. “This has been a great senior year so far. We’re having a good season, and I think we have a chance to make a run in the state tournament. My parents have always been there for me, and God has blessed me with this opportunity. I’m very grateful.”