Grafton’s McInerny hits 1,000-point mark, aims even higher


Grafton’s McInerny hits 1,000-point mark, aims even higher
Ethan McInerny shoots the ball during a recent basketball game. (Photo/Bill Gilman)

GRAFTON – With the school’s rich athletic history, the walls of the Grafton High’s gymnasium are decorated with banners celebrating countless championships and individual honors.

Heading into the 2022-23 school year, one glaring omission to the list of achievements was a 1,000-point scorer from the boys’ basketball team.

Gators’ senior Ethan McInerny took care of that piece of business last month, draining a 3-pointer in the first half of a 70-65 loss to Doherty to reach 1,000 for his four-year varsity career.

For McInerny, it was the fulfillment of a dream that had its roots in junior high school.

“I knew I was going to get to 1,000 when I was in eighth grade,” he said. “There’s a picture of me at eighth grade graduation and I’m standing under that banner of 1,000-point scorers. I just knew I wanted it so badly. I’d do whatever I had to do to get it.”

Ethan McInerny becomes just the second Gators athlete, male or female, to reach 1,000 points. Gigi LeMay, now a senior at Worcester State, is the all-time leading scorer at GHS with 1,099 points. Heading into the Gators’ Clark Tournament semifinal against Millbury, McInerny sits at 1,043, just 56 points behind.

“Right now, I’m trying not  to think about it too much,” said McInerny, who is averaging 18.3 points per game. “Right now I’m just focused on trying to help my team win.”

At 13-6, Grafton has already locked up a berth in the Division 2 State Tournament. However, the Gators fell in the preliminaries against Newburyport in overtime. 

Grafton Coach John Patraitis said it’s not all that surprising that a program like Grafton’s hadn’t yet had a 1,000-point scorer. He explained it can be hard for young players to crack the regular rotation on a team that is winning consistently.

“We have been pretty successful over the past 19 years and have had good players,” said Patraitis. “And when you have that kind of success, it’s unusual to have a freshman contribute. And to get to 1,000, you really need to be contributing as a freshman to get on pace. We’ve probably only had four or five freshmen contribute [on varsity] since I’ve been here.”

A family legacy

In his four years at Grafton, McInerny’s game has evolved. 

From his start as a pure jump shooter, the 6’1″ guard has developed into a skilled ball handler who spends as much time slashing through the paint as he does around the perimeter. Being an 83 percent free throw shooter has also allowed him to score 70 of his 331 points this year from the line.

McInerny was taught to play basketball by his father. He is the eldest of four siblings, all of whom play. Making his senior year extra special has been having his brother Lucas, a sophomore, on the varsity roster with him.

“It’s been great. I didn’t think I’d get the chance to play with him but it’s been awesome,” said McInerny. “He guards me all the time during practice.”

McInerny has yet to decide where he will be attending college in the fall. In the meantime, he is continuing to work on his game, looking to garner the attention of college scouts.

“I’m in the gym all the time, working at it, trying to get better,” he said. “I’ve realized that if I want to play at the next level, I have to adapt, get better at my defense and ball handling and getting to the rim.”


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