On Saturday, Clinton High School senior Mikayla Boykin finished her high school career winning a 2A State Championship with her teammates and setting the NCHSAA record for points in a single season with 1,159 to close out her senior season.
She entered the 2A Championship Game needing just 7 points to tie the legendary Shea Ralph, of Terry Sanford lore, for the single-season mark. Boykin had already broken Ralph’s record for points in a single game (61) earlier in the season when she scored 62 against Triton, following that up about a month later with 63 against Pender. She also broke Ralph’s record for field goals in a single season, scoring 428 baskets from the field on the year.
Boykin scored 31 points in her final game to break Ralph’s record as she was named the Kay Yow Most Valuable Player for the 2017 2A State Championship Game.
Needless to say, Boykin’s accomplishments are extraordinary in her senior season, but as you look back through the record books there are so many special performances that some people may miss, particularly on the Women’s hoops side.
In the early days of Women’s Basketball in North Carolina, the game was played with six players on the court. Initially, there were three guards and three forwards with players limited to three dribbles. Making the game three-on-three in nature. Made baskets resulted in the team scored on inbounding the ball at mid-court. Later, the game evolved and there were two designated offensive players, two designated defensive players and two rovers that would play both ends of the court. This arrangement meant that at any given time the game was essentially four-on-four.
During the early days, some women really lit up the scoreboard. In fact, the scoring records for the six-player section of the NCHSAA Women’s Basketball Record Book (located at the bottom of the document) has some staggering numbers.
The leading scorer in six-player history is Molly Colvard from Nathans Creek High School during her career from 1952-1956. Colvard also holds the top two reported single season marks for the six-player game with 1,758 during the 1955-56 season and 1,473 during the 1954-55 year.
A whopping five players during the six-player era scored more than 100 points during a single game. Martha Ann Bowers from Norlina and Beulah Thomas from New Hope are tied for the top spot, each scoring 107 points a year apart from each other. Bowers had her big game against William R. Davie in 1955 and Thomas got her mark against Mount Olive in 1954.
Other players to crack the century mark during the six-player era were Judy Vaughn from Westfield with 106 points against Shoals in 1961, Kay Wilson from Taylorsville with 104 against Marion in 1963 and Melba Overcash from Landis with 102 against East Spencer in 1949.
The changes in rules and structure of the game cause us to separate the two “versions” of basketball for record-keeping purposes. Interestingly enough, that MVP award Boykin earned on Saturday is named for a woman who played six-player basketball during her days as the legendary Kay Yow did during her time at Gibsonville High in the late 50’s and early 60’s.
Despite the game looking very different, and significant rule changes since then, it is important to remember some of the women that helped pave the way for the excellence that we see on the court in the “modern era”.