By: Bryan Geary
Reaching 1,000 points in four years of high school basketball is a rare and distinct accomplishment. It takes offensive talent, yes. Lots of high school basketball players can score, but reaching 1,000 requires opportunity, health, and consistency, among many other things.
“NEPSAC AA basketball is one of the toughest high school conferences in America,” says boys basketball head coach Michael Byrnes. “To be able to score over 1,000 against this competition is incredible.”
Alyssa Moreland ’22 and Torran Bosworth ’22 became the latest Tilton basketball players to reach this milestone and they’re both in tune with the gravity of that number.
“It’s definitely special,” says Bosworth. “I’ve always looked up at the banner [listing Tilton’s 1,000-point scorers] and kind of just stared in awe. It’s crazy how many NBA guys we have here on this list.” He also got a special thrill when fellow 1,000-point club member and current NBA star gave him a shoutout on Instagram. “When Terance Mann commented, I lost it. I was shocked,” he says with a smile.
Moreland couldn’t help but get excited when talking about getting to join Liv Orlando ’17, a Tilton star who went on to play in the Big East for Providence College. “Coach [Tara] Brisson always told me that we play very similarly,” Moreland says. “I started watching highlights of her; just watching her attitude and how it translated to her game. I knew that I wanted to be like that.”
The long and the short of it is summed up pretty well by Brisson. “When you talk about some of the best players to come through the program, you’ll now include Alyssa and Torran in that conversation,” says the long-time girls basketball head coach.
For Brisson, it’s hard to imagine two student-athletes who would be more deserving of the milestone. “You always want those who work the hardest to feel the most reward.” She can certainly attest to that work, as Moreland’s coach for three years and as a faculty advisor to Bosworth.
The journey was not without bumps for either of them. Moreland came to Tilton to reclassify as a 10th grader after suffering an ACL tear in her right knee. Following a successful sophomore campaign, she then missed her entire 11th grade season after undergoing a cleanup procedure on her ACL. Moreland described having to go through a second surgery as “heartbreaking,” but that having gone through her first procedure gave her the perspective she needed to attack her rehab. “One day where you can be upset, and then you’ve just got to move on,” she says. In the end, Moreland was able to rack up her 1,000 points in just three high school seasons — one at her hometown high school and two at Tilton. It’s a testament to her drive and to her natural ability, which she honed playing numerous different sports growing up, including flag football. “I loved doing everything,” she says. “It wasn’t just basketball and that’s what helped — I never want to get burned out of my love for the sport.”
For Bosworth, he wasn’t entirely sure what his first season would be like when he arrived as a 9th grader. “Going to practice and seeing the level of competition and the skill my teammates had, I didn’t really know what to expect,” he says. “Even my head coach at the time told me, ‘The chances of you playing are slim to none.’”
And for the first three games of his career, that was the case. After that, he began to get his chances, and, even as one of the youngest players on the team, he started to find his way a leader. “My teammates all wanted me to have a voice. It gave me confidence that really helped me improve,” he says. “I had to learn to live with knowing, ‘I’m not the best player on the court all the time,’ — it was a reality check for me. Coming here humbled me and helped me see what college is going to be like.”
Heading into his 12th grade year, he had a rough idea of what it would take to reach that 1,000-point mark: a little over 16 points a game. But before he could give much thought to that personal milestone, he had to focus on adjusting to a new offense with Byrnes now at the helm. “Coach Byrnes made it easy for me,” he says. “He let me have a part in the type of style we wanted to play, the plays we were going to run — it was a good experience.” The work ethic and the attitude Bosworth displayed caught the attention of his new coach right away. “He always put teammates and his school before himself,” says Byrnes. “He was a tremendous captain and ambassador.”
Poetically, both stars scored the elusive basket in an almost signature way. Moreland, a tenacious rebounder and second-effort player, worked the offensive glass and scored a tough two points in the paint. Bosworth, a self-described “run and gun” player who earned a reputation as a shooter early on in his career, sank a pull-up three in transition.
In many ways, it’s a testament to what they both learned during their time at Tilton — leaning into their strengths and doing so with confidence. Though their time on the Hill is coming to a close, they’ll be taking their talents to the next level in the fall; Moreland and Brown University and Bosworth at Franklin Pierce University.