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Miner miracle

February 12, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

When it came down to it, David Miner took a literary approach to become the all-time leading scorer in South Hagerstown boys basketball history.

He paused when he reached the end of the line, and then he punctuated it.

Miner hit a pair of foul shots - not the most exciting of scoring methods - with 7 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the first half Wednesday to eclipse the Rebels' 16-year-old mark of 1,486 points held by Scott Kidd.

"I tried to set it on a layup, but I got fouled," Miner said almost sheepishly after South's 86-39 win over Brunswick. "So I got it on the foul shots. I'll take it. I kind of figured that was it when all the cameras were sitting under the basket."

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Miner's milestone was almost an anticlimactic beginning to a high-powered offensive evening for the senior. He added the exclamation point with a steal and a less-than-spectacular slam dunk to start a three-point play just 15 seconds later.

Those were the beginning of nine straight points that gave South a 30-6 lead. He finished the first half with 31 of his game-high 44 points.

Miner entered the game needing just 15 points to top Kidd's 1988 record. He stands at 1,516 career points, 266 short of the Washington County public school mark of 1,782, set in 1993 by Smithsburg's Colby Bachtell.

Losing the school record didn't seem to bother Kidd, who still lives in Hagerstown. South's 6-foot-5 former center was unable to attend the game and witness the changing of the guard.

"Records are there to be broken," Kidd said by telephone before the game. "It's not like it's never been broken. When I broke it, it was set 15 or 16 years before by Tim Mason. I owned it just as long as he did ... I guess that's how long it's supposed to last."

Miner was at his best as he distanced himself from Kidd in the record books. He put on a steal and fast break display that allowed him to score quickly. The 6-foot-2 guard had only two 3-pointers and eight foul shots against the Railroaders. The rest of his points came on 15 layups.

"You've got to give him credit. ... He's tough," Brunswick coach Jim Sklencar said. "He's always around the ball. Some guys love to shoot. He loves to score. He scores from everywhere. I watch him and he plays hard on defense. He scored like 20 points off steals. He could have had 70 tonight."

"(Beating the record) is like a high," Miner said. "It was a bunch of energy. Everything was exciting. It's an honor to be able to beat (Kidd). What he did was amazing."

South Hagerstown quietly commemorated Miner's milestone, waiting until after the game to make its presentation.

The gym speakers blared "Celebration" while Miner was handed the plaque that commemorated Kidd's record. He posed with South coach Bob Starkey and the rest of his teammates, without whom Miner admits he wouldn't have reached the record.

Afterward, he received a bouquet of balloons before staying on the floor to accept the congratulations of well wishers.

"He just has that extra burn," Starkey said. "Not even all the great (scorers) have that. The kids know what he can do and they want to get him the ball."

Miner has a possible 10 games - five in the regular season and up to five playoff games - to chase down Bachtell's mark. But that's all secondary.

"That would be wild ... everything would be crazy," Miner said. "I'm not worried about that now. Right now, we want to get to states again."

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