Principia junior Colliatie tops 1,000 points in high school boys basketball
By: Warren Mayes
Principia junior Joe Colliatie likes scoring points but he likes his team winning more.,
The 6-foot-3 Colliatie just topped the 1,000-point mark to become just the second Panther boy in school history to accomplish the feat. What made it even better for Colliatie was he did it in a 63-41 victory over Priory in a Metro League game. He finished with 24 points.
“Topping 1,000 points means a lot to me but it was never a huge goal for me,” Colliatie said. “I have always wanted to win more than scoring (points).”
Larry Patterson reached the 1,000-point plateau in 2010. Three girls have reached the mark as well.
The basket that sent Colliatie over the 1,000-point mark was a 3-pointer he canned from the left side in the fourth quarter. Colliatie needed 24 points in the game to get to 1,000.
“I came off a screen from my point guard Matt Gilman and hit the three,” Colliatie. “The reaction of my teammates was amazing. They were all very supportive and going crazy. It hasn’t been a major goal but it feels good that I got it.”
Coach Duane Thomas said it was a good play.
“He got it … with the pass from Sawyer Grow and a great pick by Matthew Gilman, Thomas said.
Colliatie knew he was approaching the magic number.
“I realized I got close when about two weeks ago,” Colliatie said. “I got 38 points in a game and one of my teammates added up my points and told me I was closer.” The feat is a big one for a high school athlete, Thomas said. Colliatie has started at Principia since freshmen year.
“For those few who have done it, most take four years,” Thomas said. “Joe still has this year and his senior year ahead of him.”
Colliatie is from Simi Valley, Calif., which is nothern Los Angeles.
“I came to Prin because my older sister, Melody, came her junior and senior year and me and my sister have a really good relationship,” Colliatie said. “It felt like a great place for me to be.
“It has worked great coming to Prin. A lot of things that has happened to me I don’t think would have happened if I would have stayed in California.”
Colliatie plays both point guard and shooting guard for the Panthers.
“Joe leads us in assists, steals and, of course, points averaging almost 20 points a game while he is second on the team in rebounds,” Thomas said. “This year he has developed into a very good passer.”
Being the point guard is something Colliatie said he enjoys playing.
“I am a shooting guard but I like running the point guard a lot better,” Colliatie said. “I think the best part about my game is being a natural scorer and recently, a lot better passer.”
He has been playing basketball his whole life, but Colliatie said he didn’t start taking it seriously until the seventh grade.
“I got interested in basketball when I heard there was a club team starting up with a couple of my friends in California,” Colliatie said. “I like how competitive basketball is and the way that it pushes me everyday to get better.”
Thomas has helped his game improve.
“Coach Thomas has definitely always been there for me and has been willing to help any time I need or whenever I want to get more shots in, he would open the gym,” Colliatie said.
For the rest of the season, Colliatie said he would like to help the Panthers win the district championship.
“Being the school’s top scorer was never really on my thoughts,” Colliatie said. “I have always wanted to win even though are record doesn’t show that as much as I would like. I hope to win state before I graduate.”
That attitude is a good one, Thomas said.
“Joe is also one of our team captains. I appreciate how much he wants the team to succeed,” Thomas said. “He lives, breathes and sleeps basketball.”
After high school, Colliatie said he wants to play college basketball.
Thomas said there is interest from both Division 1 and Division 2 schools in Colliatie.