PRINCETON, Ind. – Princeton superstar Jackie Young set both single-game and career scoring marks in the Lady Tigers 103-47 Big 8 Conference basketball victory over Mt. Carmel at Tiger Arena Monday night.
But that’s not what anyone in attendance from west of the Wabash River will remember from an otherwise celebratory night. Instead they may focus on the directives from the Lady Tigers coach which seemed to disrespect Mt. Carmel.
Lady Aces coach Tim Willis, who learned a thing or two about managing greatness during the career of now Indiana freshman Tyra Buss, said the 56-point rout would be hard to simply move on from. “Oh no, we won’t forget it,” he said in response to a reporter’s post-game question. “That isn’t happening.”
After a dazzling third-quarter performance in which Young (a Notre Dame verbal commit) scored 18 points to hike her game total to 42, she was sent back to the floor despite Princeton’s overwhelming 80-34 advantage.
Still looming in the distance was the all-school single-game mark of 48 points set by Rontray Chavis in 2010. She polished that off with a driving layup three minutes into the fourth frame.
Willis had already cleared his bench, with no like response from the hosts. As Young’s point parade continued, the Mt. Carmel coach then took the extraordinary step of intentionally calling a sixth time out – one over the limit - forcing a stop of play for technical free throws. Not only did Young remain in the game, Princeton coach Charlie Mair directed his star to shoot the technicals.
The boot to the throat was finally lifted 1:20 later after Young hit a layup for her 56th and 57th points to set a new Gibson County career scoring record set by Haley Harris of Wood Memorial in 1995.
Even though the Harris record was simply a career mark of county importance for a Princeton (7-1) team which still has 16 games left in the regular season, Young’s final basket added salt to the wound when it also put the Lady Tigers over the 100-point mark for the first time in history.
Then, Mair pulled her.
There was already a history here. Last year, in the seconds following Princeton’s December upset of Mt. Carmel in the championship of the Toyota Teamwork Classic, Mair was captured on video taunting District 348 school officials. So, Monday’s actions – or Mt. Carmel’s reaction to them – seemed to indicate that bad blood has lingered into a second straight season.
As for the Princeton team itself, Willis was highly complementary. “They played really well. I have nothing but good things to say about those girls. They have a really nice team,” he said.
The Lady Tigers showed they are more than Young for a good portion of the second quarter, with solid inside play by 6-foot sophomore Brooke James, who finished with 21 points.
Mt. Carmel fell to 3-4 on the season, and 0-2 in the Big 8 with the loss. The Lady Aces, despite the final score, impressed Willis with some of their play.
“In the first half, we played relatively well even though we were down by 20,” Willis said. “We just have to do a better job defensively.”
The Lady Aces, who were led by freshman Kylie Appelbey’s 13 points, sizzled at the foul line, hitting 19 of 20 shots on the night.
Mair earned his 400th career win. He is 61-16 in his fourth year at Princeton, after spending 30 years at North Posey. He is now 400-277 overall.
In the JV game, Princeton scored 8 straight points late to rally past Mt. Carmel, 49-47. The Aces led, 43-41 after a much larger rally of its own. The visitors trailed early, 22-5, but began to chip away over time.