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Prince gets more points than praise in record

February 14, 2006|By TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

"Records are made to be broken." And we aren't talking old 45-rpm vinyl here.

That's the phrase you always hear from someone when they've just established a sports record.

Some records will stand the test of time. Will there be another 70-plus home run sultan? Will anyone ever surpass Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game? Will anyone ever top Nolan Ryan's seven no-hitters? Unlikely.

With the fall of a record, it's obvious attention is drawn to the individual who has accomplished the feat.

That's the case for Epiphanny Prince, the senior star of Murry Bergtraum (N.Y.) High School's girls basketball team who set a national prep single-game scoring record on Feb. 1 when she scored 113 points against lowly Louis Brandeis High School.

Prince is a 5-foot-9 guard who has committed to Rutgers. Her scholarship is set and there's no reason to try and grab the attention of college recruiters. The girl can play, but dare I say, her high school coach lacks common sense.

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The score of the game was 137-32. Prince had 58 points by halftime, already a personal best. What was the sense of her continuing on, except for maybe a few minutes of action to start the third period?

The answer is plain and simple. It was for personal achievement, national notoriety and all without a care in the world for her teammates or the opposition. The outcome of this contest was not unexpected. Earlier in the season, Bergtraum had beaten Brandeis by 93 points.

Vera Springer, coach of the Brandeis team, said Prince scoring 113 points on her girls "was like picking on a handicapped person."

On the surface, there's no disagreement there. Why is one player out there with 60 shot attempts? Making 54 of them, it looks like there was a lot of easy picking for layups for Prince.

It could be a totally different circumstance if the game would have been close. This was a deal where Springer should have been yanked so the coach could give his reserves playing time. What ramifications would there have been if Prince had incurred an injury?

In a hypothetical situation, what would it be like if Notre Dame Academy, a Virginia girls powerhouse, roughed up on someone this year like South Hagerstown (no knock there, South)? Having met and talked with NDA coach Mike Teasley in the past, I know he'd never let that situation happen. And I certainly hope there aren't any coaches, girls or boys, who would even consider letting the same thing happen in this area.

In a recent published report, some coaches in the Mid-Atlantic region chastised the Bergtraum coach, some calling what he allowed to happen "cherry-picking."

Prince and her team obviously have talent. They're ranked second in the nation by USA Today.

But to use an opponent in the lower echelon as a whipping boy to gain national notoriety - shame, shame!




Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Morning Herald. His column appears every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at koelble@herald-mail.com

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