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Cairo's Spence joins 1000 point club

Jan. 9—THOMASVILLE — It has been approximately five years since a Syrupmaker has joined the 1000 point club, but with KJ Spence's scoring prowess it was only a matter of time. Spence has been a scoring machine for Cairo. Last year he dropped almost 600 points in a season and this year he is averaging over 20 points per game. He has a chance to break the Cairo points per game record that has stood for nearly 20 years.

This year, Spence has been on a heater and it all came to a head in a game against Hardaway on January 5. In the previous game, an overtime loss in a tournament against Miami Central, Spence lit up the stat sheet recording 41 points, 15 rebounds, four steals and five assists. That 41 point performance set him up to enter the Hardaway game with 998 points. Just a basket shy of 1000. Spence had no issue as he dropped 22 on Hardaway and officially became a member of the 1000 point club. Spence followed up that performance with a 27 point show against Thomasville.

When asked how far up the scoring list Spence could reach by the end of his senior year, Cairo head coach JJ Cooper said he didn't know exactly, but he has an idea.

"I don't know how far he'll get on the list as far as top scorers in Cairo history, but I think he can get into he top three or four," Cooper said. "We have two guys that are over 1700 points total for their career, but everybody else is like 13 or 1400 so, he has the opportunity to be one of the top three or four scorers in Cairo history, which is a big big accomplishment."

But, Cooper says that even greater than his scoring excellence is the transformation of Spence as a leader and a person.

"The kid has transformed from day one when I first got him to now," Cooper said. "His leadership, his responsibility, his willingness to do the right thing and help his teammates. It's like day and night. I'm very proud of the kid."

Now, the Syrupmakers are attempting to make Cairo basketball history again, adding another player to the 1000 point club.

"Our next goal is to get Amari Powell in the 1000 point club," said Cooper. "He needs a little more than 200 points to get in and that would give us two kids in the same graduating class in the 1000 points club. That would be the first time in Cairo history that we would have that."

Cairo will meet Colquitt county next and will then enter region play, traveling to Westover on January 12 for a contest that will decide sole first place in the region.