SELAH - Noah Pepper came to Selah High School knowing he'd be a second-fiddle scorer as a ninth grader to older brother, Elijah - who left as the program's all-time points getter.
So, Pepper readjusted his goal-setting: He wanted to lead the squad in rebounding.
And he's done that as well as anybody who has come through Selah's ranks.
The Central Washington University-bound Pepper totaled a game-high 25 points and 10 rebounds, leading the Vikings to a 61-52 home 2A CWAC victory Tuesday night over Ellensburg.
Jace Durand added 24 points, and Selah improved to 10-0. The Bulldogs were paced by J.T. Fenz's 15 points.
"I told them in our post-game (meeting), when you can sweep a team in your league three times, that is saying something," Selah boys coach Tim Garza said.
But the night belonged to Pepper, who eclipsed the 1,000-rebound mark for his career (1,002).
"I pride myself in my rebounding," Pepper sad. "It is more of a hard-working trait than anything else."
Pepper said during his first season, he just wanted to grab more rebounds than teammate Zak Donato - the team's top returner in that category.
He did just that, and continued to pile up numbers.
But Pepper said he had no idea he was approaching 1,000 - until somebody notified him before the season he had a chance to get there.
"You don't hear about it often, so I figured it was hard to reach," Pepper said.
Pepper got off to a scorching start in the first six minutes - 12 points, four rebounds, two steals - as the Vikings bolted out to a 16-5 lead. In fact, Pepper and Durand combined to score the team's first 23 points.
But Selah's hot scoring spurts were often followed with stretches of sloppy turnovers - enough to keep the Bulldogs hanging around much of the game.
Nine seconds into the fourth quarter, Pepper hauled down his eighth rebound of the game - and 1,000th of his career - on a putback basket to give the Vikings a 49-35 lead. The game was stopped so the senior could be recognized for his accomplishment.
"He enjoys doing the dirty work," Garza said. "He believes he is the toughest son-of-a-gun in that gym."