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Jack Taylor's 138 Point Scoring Night
December 5, 2012 - Al Stephenson
By now all sports fans have heard about the night that Jack Taylor had on the hardcourt for Grinnell (Iowa) College. He scored a collegiate record 138 points in a basketball game that, in my mind at least, made a mockery of the game. Considering that he was introduced prior to the game as the guy that was going to attempt to set a new scoring record, it was clear that the whole thing was planned. Grinnell used a full court press hoping to get a turnover to feed Mr. Taylor for another shot. If the press did not work, Grinnell allowed its opponents to score an uncontested layup so they could get the ball back and into the hands of you know who. The whole thing reeked of s big time wrestling circus sideshow presented by the National Enquirer. I mean the guy took over 100 field goal attempts for crying out loud.
The record that Taylor broke belonged to one Clarence "Bevo" Francis of Rio Grande College. His record of 113 points was scored against Hillsdale College in 1954. He actually scored more points the season before (116), but since it was garnered against Ashland College which was not a four year school at the time, that total was not recognized. The fact that he scored over 100 points twice in his collegiate career suggests that he apparently had some awesome talent.
Taylor's night had me doing some checking on prolific basketball scoring efforts and what I found was certainly interesting. For example, do you know what the record is for a high school boy? Well that mark belongs to one Danny Heater of Burnsville (WV) High School. He scored a healthy 135 points in a game that included a 53 of 70 performance from the field and 29 of 41 from the line. Now there's some shooting.
As for girls high school scoring rampages, the first female to hit for 100 points came in 1968. Denise Long from Union-Whitten High School poured in 111 in a state playoff game. For the season Ms. Long averaged - I said AVERAGED - 68.2 points per game. That is still a record and quite possibly will never be broken.
Want more amazing numbers. In 1941 a 13-year-old 8th grader by the name of Bob Harrison scored all his teams points in a 139-8 win. This one doesn't impress me that much. When you beat a team that bad, they are obviously inferior. Besides, wouldn't you think he would have let a teammate score at least one bucket!
OK, one last mind blower. This one involves another 13-year-old and this time we have to go to Sweden for the feat. Mats Wermelin scored all the points in the ENTIRE game. His team was victorious in a 272-0 squeaker. Yeah, right.
Personally I refuse to recognize Jack Taylor's record. The view from my seat suggests that if you want to get an individual record in a team sport, it should come in a game that is decided in the last couple of minutes. Any other scenario would make it a very hollow record indeed.
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