Wreckers' Barna tops 1,000 points
STEVE SHINKO/special to the TIMES NEWS Weatherly's Keith Barna celebrates with his family after scoring the 1,000th point of his high school career in a game against Nativity. Pictured with Keith (center) are, from left, his sister Kristin, his mother Stephanie,his father John, his sister Dianna, and his sister Kelly.
During his career at Weatherly, Keith Barna has done a little bit of everything and he's done it extremely well.
Barna has excelled at a number of different positions and in a variety of roles.
But the one constant during his four-year varsity career has been his ability to put the ball in the basket.
On Jan. 8, during a game against Nativity, the 5-foot, 10-inch senior became the first player in six years and only 22nd Wrecker in the school's history to score 1,000 points during his high school career.
"It feels really good to accomplish something that not many players have done," Barna said.
While not many high school basketball players are able to reach this milestone during their playing days, Wreckers' head coach Ron Cann said he knew early in his career that Barna had the ability.
Cann, in his third year as Weatherly's head coach, has watched Barna progress from a talented underclassman into a senior leader.
As a sophomore, Barna played at the three-man position. Then as a junior, Cann moved him to the two-man spot on the floor.
This season, Cann decided that Barna could handle more responsibility, naming him the Wreckers' starting point guard and 'go-to man.'
"I bet he has the ball in his hands at least 75 percent of the time, either bringing it up or dishing it off now," Cann said. "Over the last few years, he has definitely learned how to become a complete player instead of just a scorer.
"He's done so without any complaints. Every time we called on him or asked him to do something different, he's been there for us out there."
Barna's growth on the court has been obvious, especially to his mother, Steph Barna, who has been the Wreckers' scorekeeper for her son's entire career.
"He's a team player. That's what he wants to be," Steph said. "He's not a gunner. He wants to involve all the players on the floor and I think he shows that every time he plays."
Barna's statistics also reflect that unselfish play. There aren't a whole lot of 1,000-point scorers that also lead their team in assists. But that's exactly what Barna has done this year.
"When the game is on the line, I like having the ball in my hands," Barna said. "I feel more comfortable with the ball in my hands because I know I can penetrate and kick the ball out to my teammates whenever I need to do so since they're good shooters. I trust them."
Still, when the Wreckers are in need of an offensive spark or if an opportunity presents itself late in a game, Barna is confident in his ability to put the ball in the basket. That's because it is something he's done his entire career.
Barna recorded 190 points as a freshman, 293 as a sophomore, 327 as a junior, and, through Saturday's night win over West Side Tech, he has 247 points this season.
With surpassing the 1,000-point mark now behind him, Barna has his sights set on another goal. Something even more important to him right now then his individual accomplishment and something he has been waiting for his entire scholastic career.
"To be honest, right now I'm more concerned about the playoffs," he said. "I have been here four years and I wanted to go to the playoffs at least one year, but I haven't gotten there yet. One thousand points is great. It feels really good, but I really want to go to the playoffs."
Cann wasn't surprised by Barna's attitude.
"Absolutely, he's focused," Cann said. "Our goal is to be very, very competitive in the division, which is a very hard division with Marian and Mahanoy Area.
"But, the number one goal that we have been stressing since I have taken over is to get to districts. And that's his ultimate goal - he wants to play in the postseaso