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Jack Taylor's big night tops 52-year-old high school record

W.Va. guard Danny Heater scored 135 points in 1960



Danny Heater stands under the basket in a gym in Gaithersburg, Md., in this Jan. 23, 1988 file photo. On Jan. 26, 1960, in Burnsville High School's tiny gymnasium, Heater not only broke the state single-game scoring record, he set a mark for the most ever points by a high school, college or professional player. / AP

In case you haven't heard, Grinnell College sophomore guard Jack Taylor scored 138 points during the Pioneers' 179-104 win Tuesday against Faith Baptist Bible College. In addition to shattering the NCAA's single-game scoring record, Taylor also became the first collegiate or pro player to eclipse the 52-year-old national high school record.

On Jan. 26, 1960, Burnsville (W.Va.) senior guard Danny Heater scored 135 points in a 173-49 win over Widen. Heater's coach, Jack Stalnaker, hoped to attract college scouts to tiny Burnsville and he figured a record-setting performance just might do it. 

MORE: NBA Players React to Taylor's Game

With 10 minutes left in the game, Heater had the West Virginia record. His teammates pushed him to go for more, and he did, scoring 55 more points before the final buzzer to break Dick Bogenrife's national record of 120 points, which was set in 1953.

Heater, who didn't have the luxury of the 3-point arc, shot 53-of-70 from the field and 29-of-41 from the free throw line.

“It was like a dream,” Heater said. “A lot of people have joked that the other team must not have shown up or had to be midgets. But they weren’t really that bad.”

The Burnsville gym was so small that it didn’t have room for seats. In fact, it hardly had room for a court. Heater set the record on a court that was 37 feet-by-77 feet. A scout from West Virginia eventually came to watch Heater play, but he decided Heater was too slow to play for the Mountaineers. Heater didn't play college basketball.

"Danny deserved to play at a major college," Stalnaker said. "But without a scholarship, there was no way he could afford school.”

The most recent high school player to eclipse 100 points in a game was Tigran Grigorian of Pico Rivera Mesrobian (Calif.), who scored 100 points for in 2003.

Top 5 Single-Game Scoring Performances (Boys)

135 – Danny Heater, Burnsville (W.Va.), 1960
127 – Johnny Morris, Norcom (Portsmouth, Va.), 1961
120 – Dick Bogenrife, Midway (Sedalia, Ohio), 1953
114 – Pete Cimino, Bristol (Pa.), 1960
114 – Wayne Oakley, Hanson (Ky.), 1954

Top 5 Single-Game Scoring Performances (Girls)

105 – Cheryl Miller, Riverside Poly (Calif.), 1982
101 – Lisa Leslie, Inglewood (Calif.), 1990
85 – Christy Cooper, Circleville (W.Va.), 1988
82 – Christy Cooper, Circleville (W.Va.), 1988
81 – Geri Grigsby (McDowell, Ky.), 1975

All stats courtesy of the NFHS Record Book.

 

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