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Thursday, February 24, 2011

The night Kevin Summers went for 51 and 22.

A few weeks ago, Northwestern senior Brennan McKean dropped 48 points in the Huskies win over Orrville. It got me thinking about whether or not it was the most points scored by an opponent in our gym. I have to think it is, but really no way of knowing.

What I do know is of Orrville's all-time greats, Kevin Summers scored 51 points against Copley in his junior year (1990-91 season) which is still a record for scoring at Orrville.

He didn't just score that night either, he tacked on 22 rebounds (also a school record), had 2 blocks and 3 assists.

I don't want to turn this into a love-fest for something that happened 20 years ago or anything, but that's a pretty awesome effort, and worth a little look-back in time.

The final that night was Orrville 114, Copley 78 (when's the last time Orrville scored 100 in a game?  Has to be 10 yrs + since it's happened).  It was the 4th most points scored by an Orrville team in school history.  So you had two individual records fall that night and saw the 4th most points scored by any Orrville basketball team.  Point guard on that team and current coach Sly Slaughter recorded 13 assists that night too, which is one off the school record of 14 that he set a few weeks earlier against Manchester.

Talk about getting your money's worth.  One more assist and every single game record among points, rebounds and assists would have been set in one night.

I asked Kevin if there was anything special about that night, any extra motivation or anything else going on (senior night, big game, etc.), and it turns out there was plenty of motivation.
Anthony Durden and I came into the game especially fired up because Copley had given our only regular season loss the year prior (Anthony and I both started as Sophomores).  It was a major upset and Tim Brenner from Copley lit us up for 27 the year before and we lost 75-73.  Interesting information is that Brenner was the youngest brother of our current Booster Club President, Tom Brenner (and uncle of current Red Rider Drew Brenner).

We came out really fired up and wanted to destroy them.  All I remember is that I had no idea I had that many.  Shot were dropping and I certainly had no idea I had that many rebounds.  All I recall was going to the bench early in the fourth quarter and Coach Smith told me I broke my own record.

Sly and I always were in sync.  I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates, especially Sly.  He was the best point guard a scoring guard could have had.
 Here's the box score from that night, check out the points scored by quarter....
Goodness, that's a lot of scoring.  33 points in the first quarter?  64 at half?  45 foul shots attempted?  53 rebounds?  It's all so amazing.  

Kevin's line was just as impressive.  15 of 26 shooting.  8 of 16 from 3-pt range, 7 of 10 from 2-pt. range, but only 13 of 20 from the foul line.  He could have scored 55 or 56 if he could sink a free throw (kidding, of course).  I'd have to think that eight 3-point makes has to be near a record too.  But we've had a lot of good 3-point shooters over the years, so I don't know for sure.

His 22 rebounds were certainly impressive, but lost in his scoring prowess, is the fact that Kevin is 4th in all-time rebounds as well.  He'll always be remembered for his scoring, but he was no slouch in rebounding either.

Not to draw any parallels to this year's team (that's not why I'm doing this, by the way), but we've only scored 65+ once this year.  On this night in 1991, they sat at 64 at HALFTIME, and averaged almost 90 points per game for the entire 1990-91 season.

I think it also speaks to basketball now versus then, and how the game has changed.  Those years in the late 80's and early 90's were big scoring feasts, seemingly night in and night out.  The 3-point line was still relatively new and I think that had a lot to do with it, sure Orrville's talent was special, but that era was all about scoring.  I think Coach Smitty's dedication to playing defense is what made us a great team of that time.

If those teams didn't score 70 points, something felt off.  Now, it seems that if 70 IS scored, it's cause for near celebration.  The focus of the game is much more on defense now.

Kevin's effort also got him mentioned in USA Today.  
I remember after we won the state title in 1996, we were actually RANKED in the USA Today Super 25, and maybe when Chris Royer set the school scoring record in the 1989-90 season, maybe he got mentioned too, but it hasn't happened too many times.

The only other name I recognize on that list is Vonda Ward who was a great basketball player in the Cleveland area and now is (or at least was) a female boxer.

Always nice to look back on the glory days of Orrville basketball.  When overflow crowds were the norm and the games were broadcast via closed-circuit TV in the auditorium next to the gym.  When a giant of a coach patrolled the sidelines, and idols took to the basketball floor.  When cutting the nets down was old-hat, and TV highlights were shown on Akron's Channel 23.  We knew where to go, and what to do in Columbus for the final four and the Canton Fieldhouse was our second home.  The good old days, for sure.

You lose some of that "awe" as you get older and your cynicism rises in step with your age, but these were special times that we're all fortunate to have witnessed with our own eyes.

Thanks to Kevin for sharing the stories about a great time in Orrville sports history, and to his wife Monica for preserving all those great pictures and articles.

I'd love to hear from anyone that was there that night, and any stories they may have.  I went to plenty of games that season, but don't remember this one specifically.


Anonymous said...

Orrville scored 100 points against Triway in the late 90's maybe even the early 2000's..not to sure the year, but I remember it and how excited everyone was as we hit a free throw to put us at 100 points, the crowd went crazy! Maybe you could help me out with the year....

Wayne Wachtel said...

I'm not sure about the late 90's but I do know that Orrville beat Triway 116-81 on Feb.18, 1972. I started with the box score but got cut off. I do have it. Scott Rutleged a starter did not play, nursing an injury. Denny Reusser's daughter is a big contributer on the girls team now.

Wayne Wachtel said...

Feb 18, 1972
Orrville 116 Triway 81

Rufus Johnson 9 11 29
Don Boop 9 11 29
Denny Reusser 13 1 27
Dave Mardis 6 1 13
Mike Wagner 2 4 8
Steve Martin 3 0 6
Mark Stroup 1 1 3
Denny Helmuth 0 2 2
Totals 47 22 116