Hard to fathom

I was amazed to hear that a high school basketball player had scored 113 points in a game. But the whole scenario also seemed pretty sad. 

On Wednesday night, Epiphanny Prince of Murry Bergtraum High in New York City scored 113 points to help ‘lead’ her team to a 137-32 win over a clearly overmatched Brandeis squad http://www.usatoday.com/sports/front.htm   . Murry Bergtraum has been a national power in girls basketball for years, and, I’m guessing, Brandeis has been a national power in speech and debate for years.

Prince just had one of those nights when everything turned to gold, hitting 54 of 60 shots. After she had 38 points in the first quarter, you can almost hear the wheels turning in her coach’s head, that this was the night that one of his players could set the national single-game scoring record, which had been held by Cheryl Miller when she had 105 playing for Riverside Poly in 1982. So, Ed Grezinsky let Prince keep doing what she was doing. She had 20 points in the second, 25 in the third and 30 in the fourth. And a new national mark was set.

But what did it prove? That Prince is a gifted shooter? People around NYC probably already knew that. That Brandeis’ coaching staff couldn’t make a halftime adjustment if their wool sweaters depended on it? People, I’m guessing, probably knew that too.

So, really, nothing new (or good) came out of that game. Besides, Prince’s record is as big a sham as Miller’s was. Miller scored her 105 in a 179-15 win over Riverside Norte Vista. I guess you could say that at least she involved her teammates. Miller defended Grezinsky’s actions, saying, "That’s what this game’s all about, special moments in special situations. Instead of people getting their feelings hurt, they should pat (Prince) on the back."

The Brandeis players probably knew that they were going to get smoked on Wednesday, so they probably didn’t feel any worse just because it was mainly one person administering the punishment. I’m guessing the players shook the hands of their opponents, gathered their belongings and headed home with a story to tell.

And at the end of the day, there’s very little that’s special about it. She had a great shooting night, but just 12 of her points came from beyond the arc. How many came in transition, off turnovers, without a defender in sight?

As a point of reference, Courtney Paris, arguably the most dominating girls basketball player to ever play in the East Bay, had just 20 points last year when Piedmont crushed Salesian 89-29. Piedmont routinely crushed their opponents in 2004-05. Yet the coaching staff knew when to pull back. Hey, blowouts are a part of sports. But there is a classy way. And that seemed to be lost on the coaching staff of Murry Bergtraum. This record means nothing.