Tyra Buss was so on fire last week, she might still be cooling down.
The Mount Carmel (Ill.) High senior point guard scored 126 points in the final two games of the holiday Toyota Teamwork Classic in Fort Branch, Ind., eclipsing the state's all-time scoring mark and raising her season average to 47.4 points per game in the process.
Buss netted 60 points in a 96-70 victory against host Gibson Southern High, and then totaled 66 in an 84-82 loss to Princeton (Ind.) High as an encore. She made 39-of-73 shots in the two games (53.4 percent), including 14-of-32 3-pointers (43.8 percent).
"I didn't know that I had 60 ; I had no idea because I was just in a zone," the Indiana-bound Buss told the Chicago Tribune. "I was going to do whatever I could to help the team win on Saturday. (Sixty-six points) was just unbelievable. I was in a zone."
In front of roughly 4,000 fans, the state's returning Miss Basketball sunk a first-quarter 3-pointer against Princeton to break former Olney (Ill.) Richland High star Brittany Johnson's record of 4,031 career points from 2003-07, per the Tribune. By game's end, she raised her record total to 4,095 points with 10 games remaining in the regular season.
Buss now ranks seventh in the national career scoring books, according to the National Federation of High School Associations, and a playoff run for the Aces (12-2) could result in her surpassing Gibsland (La.)-Coleman High star Missy Thomas (4,506 points) for No. 2 on the all-time list. Goodrich (Texas) High standout Adrian McGowen's national record of 5,424 points from 2003-06 seems safe for now.
Buss' 126 points in a two-game span raised her season total to 664, a little more than half of her single-season record total of 1,285 last season, when Mount Carmel finished 32-1 and lost a Class 2A sectional title game. Through 14 games as a junior, she only had 428 points.
While she's averaged 36.9 points over 111 career games, it's not like she's solely a scorer. Buss owns averages of 8.1 steals, 6.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists this season. Opponents still send plenty of box-and-one defenses her way, and you have to respect her approach.
"I've played against a lot of junk defenses, and no team has played straight man all season," she told the Tribune. "I've had to work for a lot of my shots. I worked on being a complete player, getting stronger, and that's helped me dribble in and make baskets, and I've worked on my step-back 3s a lot."
Her record-setting performance came a week prior to the Chicago Tribune publishing an article entitled, "Girls dribble away from basketball: School officials say club sports, lack of confidence keeping girls off the court," arguing a decline among Chicago-area girls participating in the sport. Apparently Tyra Buss didn't get the memo.
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