- Marc Pendleton Staff Writer
Two extraordinary accomplishments have happened during the area boys high school basketball season, and we’re just days into the new year.
First, Triad senior Hadley LeVan scored a program-record 51 points against West Jefferson on Dec. 22. The big 5-0 hadn’t been hit since Damion Cook of Tri-Village put 50 on Lehman Catholic in February 2015.
And then it happened again.
Fairmont senior Jack Hendricks topped that with 52 points against Indianapolis Washington on Dec. 30. According to Ohio High School Athletic Association records, his 14 three-pointers tied him with Eric Schiele of Atwater Waterloo (2006) for the No. 2 all-time most in a game. J.T. Hoyng of Sparta Highland is first with 16 (1998).
“It was crazy,” Hendricks, a 5-foot-11 guard, said. “It started with my teammates, of course. When I got hot, they kept giving me the ball. I just kept shooting.”
Three area boys, all juniors, have come close to joining the 5-0 club. Sidney’s Andre Gordon went for 49 points on Dec. 22 at Greenville. Amari Davis of Trotwood-Madison lit up Xenia for 42 points on Dec. 15. Xenia’s Samari Curtis answered with 41 points vs. West Carrollton on Dec. 19.
LeVan and Hendricks joined a select club of area players to tally 50 or more points. Former Miami men’s basketball coach Charlie Coles is the all-time area leader, scoring 65 as a senior for Bryan (Yellow Springs) in 1959. Middletown phenom Jerry Lucas scored 63 points in 1958 against Lima Senior, his final regular-season game as a Middie.
Two others hit 61: Gary Bradds of Greeneview in 1959 and Sabina’s Phil Snow in ’64. Those top four all made their marks before the 3-pointer was in play.
There have been at least 31 games over the years in which area boys have scored 50-plus points according to Cox Media Group Ohio records. No surprise in the leader: Franklin’s Luke Kennard did it five times from 2013-15, including a career-best 59 vs. Monroe in 2014.
Others with two 50-plus games were Jim Pollard of Northridge, Dunbar’s Mike Haley Jr. and Lucas.
Coles had nothing on Angie Finkes of Kenton Ridge. She was among many Cougars’ high scorers during a run of more than three decades by former coach Ed Foulk. Finkes scored 68 points against Northwestern in February 1996.
Kayla Linkous of Tri-Village had 61 points vs. Jefferson in February 2010. A sophomore at the time, Linkous had a school-record 45 points at halftime and was pulled with three minutes left in the third quarter of the 95-32 sectional-opening blowout. The Patriots entered the postseason unbeaten. Jefferson had won four games, although the Broncos gave themselves a No. 1 seed vote.
“Even the people behind the bench were giving me the fist pump,” said Tri-Village coach Brad Gray following the mismatch.
»RELATED: Area boys basketball power rankings
According to Cox records, the only other girls to come close to those numbers were Brittany Smart of Springfield Shawnee with 51 points in 2003 and Urbana’s Trisha Lacy with 50 in 2013. Lacy wasn’t the only red-hot Hillclimber that season. Urbana’s Tristan Singer also went for 50 just eight days before Lacy went off.
Dick Bogenrife of Sedalia Midway (Madison Plains) torched Canaan (Jonathan Alder) for an all-time Ohio boys single-game best of 120 points in a 137-46 win in February 1953. Bogenrife told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer in a 2011 story that Midway coach Don Strasburg wanted him to top the 116 points Bevo Francis of Rio Grande College had scored a month before. A teammate of Francis that record-setting night was future longtime Springfield South boys coach Wayne Wiseman.
Another Springfield-area connection, Tecumseh standout Wayne Embry, would come into play two nights later against Bogenrife. The future NBA All-Star and Cleveland Cavaliers GM held Bogenrife to 20 points in a 107-55 Arrows win.
»RELATED: Area girls basketball power rankings
According to National Federation of State High School Association records, Bogenrife was surpassed as the national leader when Danny Heater of Burnsville High School in West Virginia scored 135 in January 1960. Johnny Morris of Portsmouth Norcom (Virginia) bumped Bogenrife to third all-time when he amassed 127 points in February 1961.
Lisa Cline of Millersburg West Holmes holds the Ohio girls all-time, single-game scoring record with 76 points in January 1985. Finkes is No. 5 and Linkous No. 8.
Cheryl Miller, Reggie’s older sister, is the girls national all-time leader with 105 points in 1982. But it’s runner-up Lisa Leslie of Inglewood Morningside (Calif.) who earned the most head-shaking distinction. She scored 101 points vs. Torrance South (Calif.) in 1990 and South “refused to play second half” according to NFHS records.
• Did we miss an area high scorer? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.