While scoring the 1,000th point of his high school varsity basketball career, Islesboro Central School junior Jason Hatch led the Eagles to victory Tuesday night in their final game of the regular season.

Hatch scored 22 points to help the Eagles beat host Pine Tree Academy 57-33. Islesboro led 12-6, 28-17 and 49-23 at the quarter breaks.

The team win and individual milestone by Hatch were important to the islanders because it appears they may fall short in their quest to reach the Western Class D playoffs.

In the most recent Maine Principals’ Association Heal Point Standings for the region, Islesboro (8-7, 23.3433 points) is 10th — 2.9491 points behind eighth-place Buckfield (7-10, 26.2924 points). The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs. A.R. Gould of South Portland (11-0, 83.3003 points) is first in the region.

Before Tuesday’s game, Hatch, who has played on the varsity since eighth grade when he was still the team’s leading scorer, had compiled 985 points in his first four years of play. High schools with smaller enrollment, all in Class D, are allowed to suit up eighth graders to fill their rosters.

Hatch reached his 1,000th point on a foul shot with three minutes left in the third quarter. He was fouled as he went for a layup and hit the career milestone by making his first free throw.

“I went to the free throw-line and I thought, ‘Well, what better way to make 1,000 points then to do it in a free throw,” Hatch said.

“He’s great,” said Islesboro coach Don Johnson about Hatch. “He’s a great teammate. He’s a great leader. You know, he’s been leading the team [for a long time]. He’s a good kid. He is somebody you’d want on your team. He ends up scoring a lot of points because he has to because a lot of guys don’t like to shoot.”

After he reached 1,000 points, game officials paused the action and Hatch received the game ball in a brief ceremony. Hatch said he would like to see the ball be permanently placed in the school after the building’s renovation.

Also scoring Tuesday for Islesboro were D.J. Johnson with 17 points, followed by Gerard Scherr with seven; Will Schoppe, four; Max Mahan, three; and Art Govoni and Tyler Grindle, both two.

For Pine Tree Academy, Tim McGuire led with 14 points, followed by Pierce and Aaron Olson, both eight; and Michael Chropley, three.

Islesboro was 3-of-10 (30 percent) from the free-throw line and Pine Tree was 1-of-4 (25 percent).

Hatch knew, barring an injury suffered early in the game, he would reach his milestone in Tuesday’s contest, but he only felt a little anxious before the affair began.

“I wasn’t really scared or anything,” he said. “There was a lot of pressure because, you know, everybody thought I was going to do it and I wanted to do it during that game and not have to wait until next year. So there was just a little bit of pressure.”

Hatch said he has been playing basketball since he learned to walk and adores the sport.

“I just love it,” he said. “It’s just an awesome sport; it’s my favorite sport.” He continued to say his favorite part was playing with the team.

The love for the team shone through even during this game, where he was again the “star.” Even though he ended up leaving this season with 1,007 points — barring any possibly playoff action for the islanders — he was timid about scoring.

“I told him to hurry up and get this,” coach Johnson said about Hatch’s 1,000th point. “He kept passing the ball and then he got to where he wouldn’t shoot. I said, ‘Why aren’t you shooting, Jason? Get this over with so we can get on with the game.’ “

“‘I feel like I’m hogging the ball,” Johnson said Hatch told him.

“‘Well, you’re not. The guys are trying to feed you,” Johnson said in their exchange.

Coach Johnson then told Hatch, “The next time somebody throws you the ball and you throw it back to them I’m gonna tell them to throw it right out of bounds.”

Hatch shortly went for the layup that led to his free throw and the milestone.

“I don’t like feeling like a ball hog,” Hatch said. “I only had 15 points to score and so when I was around my eighth point, halfwayish, I just didn’t want to keep on taking the ball, I wanted to give it to some of our eighth graders; let them have an opportunity to shoot.”

Hatch is not the first Islesboro player to break the 1,000-point mark. Zach Conover experienced the same honors as a senior in 1995. Other Eagle players over the years also amassed a bundle of points, but it was unclear if any of them surpassed 1,000 points, as Hatch and Conover have.

Hatch probably won’t be the last Eagle to score 1,000 career points. D.J. Johnson, a sophomore, only needs 179 points to hit the mark.

“He’ll get it easy next year,” said his coach, looking forward to the upcoming season where both Hatch and Johnson again will play on the team.

Now Hatch looks forward to next year. He said he does not have any personal goals for his senior season, he just wants the team to make it into regional playoffs “That’s all I’m really looking forward to,” he said.

Village NetMedia Sports Reporter Frederick Freudenberger can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at fritz@villagesoup.com.