It was a night of many celebrations for the Warsaw faithful Friday night, as those in attendance not only got to see the Tigers snap a short two-game skid against the Concord Minutemen with a 52-35 victory, but were also witness to senior captain Jaxson Gould reaching the 1,000-point milestone for his career.

“It’s an incredible feeling. I haven’t really thought about it too much until tonight,” Gould said after the game. “I’ve gotten so much support this season from my teammates, my coaches. I couldn’t have done it without them. It’s an incredible honor to reach that mark but I didn’t do it by myself.”

Gould, who has battled a series of injuries this season while missing minimal time, is the 13th player in Warsaw history to reach the 1,000-point mark.

“He’s the toughest guy we’ve got, he’ll stand in front of everything you throw at him and smile,” Tiger head coach Matt Moore said. “Even when he’s not scoring the ball he adds so much to this team and it’s no wonder why these guys look up to him.”

The first quarter was not one that the Tigers nor their fans will want to remember for long. No matter what Warsaw tried in the first quarter, things just weren’t clicking. The team struggled to get shots up, turning over the ball at an unsustainable pace. When the Tigers were able to hold onto the ball long enough to put up shots, the home side left a ton of points on the table by missing easy layups and uncontested shots. On the other side, Concord cut through the Warsaw defense efficiently and easily, scoring a plethora of points in the paint and extending an early lead.

While the Tigers would get onto the board first on a jumper from Gould, the team’s only other points in the first would come from a three made by junior center Luke Yeager at the quarter’s halfway mark. Warsaw went into the second period trailing by six points with more turnovers (seven) than points (five).

“They hit some shots early but water finds its level,” Moore said. “We didn’t start strong but we stayed the course, started playing some tough defense and got a big team victory.”

The second period was much kinder to the home side. After scoring just five points in the first eight minutes of action, Warsaw put a quick six on the board in the opening minutes of the second. Yeager continued his big night, grabbing every rebound he could to hold the Minutemen to just one shot per possession. With solid work from Yeager as well as three free throws by Brandt Martin after he was fouled shooting the long ball, the Tigers were suddenly alive and well once again. Yeager finished with a double-double, 13 points and 10 rebounds.

 On the other end, the Warsaw defense had woken up as well. The easy layups Concord had been feasting off of suddenly weren’t there anymore. The misses turned into easy transition points as Yeager or senior Drew Heckaman had no problems bringing the ball up the court after grabbing a board. After a grim first quarter, it was Warsaw that took a two-point lead into the half.

“Our job is to hold teams under their scoring averages, and for the most part we’ve been good at that this year,” Moore said. “Over the last two years, we’re 15-2 after we play Concord. But I told the guys I’m sick of getting right after this game. Let’s go win this one.”

Using what the team found in the second quarter, the Tigers compounded it into a great start to the third as well. Over the first four minutes, the home team extended its lead to nine with a 7-0 run. The tables had been turned. Concord was now struggling to get shots up while Warsaw effortlessly went the other way and extended their advantage.

Concord would eventually put the run to a halt and make a few shots to get back into it. But with just over a minute to go in the third, Gould would grab a rebound, go coast to coast and make the layup to hit his milestone. The bucket would also grow Warsaw’s lead to double digits. After the standing ovation concluded, the Tigers went right back to work and got the lead up to 15 going into the final eight minutes of action.

With the lead large and the team playing some of its best ball of the season, Warsaw cruised through the final quarter of play. Concord offered some resistance in the opening minutes, shrinking the Tigers’ lead down to 12, but the Minutemen would get no further. Gould would add another bucket in the final period to move up to 12th all-time on Warsaw’s all-time scoring list, passing Marty Lehman.

“There’s going to be more thousand point scorers that come through here in the future, and they’ll look at that list and see my name on there with all of those guys. It’s an honor,” Gould said.

The Tigers (8-6, 3-1 Northern Lakes Conference) have a quick turnaround, as the team heads to Valparaiso Saturday for a meeting with the Vikings.