Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

February 24, 2013

Neeley knifes Knights with iconic performance

Senior lifts Eastern to semistate title with 48-point explosion.

Warsaw — Just before the tipoff of Saturday’s Class 2A North Semistate game against Fort Wayne Bishop Luers, Eastern girls basketball coach Jeremy Dexter turned to his assistants and said “What if Brittany [Neeley] does something crazy like score 50?”

In Dexter’s own words: “She darn near did.”

The senior put forth a performance for the ages, pouring in 48 points to lift the Comets to their first semistate championship in a 74-55 rout of Luers, preventing the Knights from making their fourth straight appearance in the state finals.

“Trust me, I didn’t foresee that she had some advantage to score 50 points,” Dexter said. “You can’t foresee something like that, but Brittany is a great leader. She’s not a true point guard. She’s a scorer. She showed that [Saturday] obviously, but she’s a kid who is a runner who has turned herself into basketball player. I don’t profess stuff or push stuff on anybody, but there’s no question that there should be some attention looking at for her as an Indiana All-Star. She ought to be in the running for that with this performance.”

Neeley’s 48-point explosion tied a Howard County single-game record for girls basketball. Taylor’s Myndie Vaughn (Everling) scored 48 points in a game against Tipton during the 1994-95 season to set the mark Neeley matched Saturday.

For good measure, the 5-foot-6 guard grabbed a game-high 20 rebounds and hit 19 of 21 attempts from the free throw line.

“I was just speechless,” Neeley said. “Seeing myself going over 40 points was pretty neat, but I just wanted to win the game. Twenty rebounds – I don’t know how I got those numbers. I’m lucky to get half of those numbers in a normal game. It hasn’t hit me yet. Just as long as we got the win is all that matters. We were going to find a way no matter what.”

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