Xenia’s Curtis scores 50 at Tipp, joins the club

Samari Curtis, welcome to the club.

Xenia’s high-scoring junior went for 50 points during Friday night’s 90-80 loss at Tippecanoe. He’s the third area boys high school basketball player to score 50 or more in the past two weeks and he might not be the last.

A 6-foot-4 guard/forward, Curtis unloaded 23 points in the fourth quarter with the Bucs in catch-up mode. He hit 18 of 31 shots and was 3-for-9 on 3-pointers. He also had eight assists, two blocks and a steal. He’s the first Buccaneer to score that much since Robert Siwo also went for 50 against Sidney in February 2002.

That’s the kind of output that has vaulted Curtis among Ohio’s most sought-after juniors. He’s averaging an area-best 31.2 points. He is uncommitted, but Xavier and Cincinnati are among the college programs to offer him a scholarship.

Other high-scoring and recruited juniors are Sidney’s Andre Gordon (26.8) and Amari Davis of Trotwood-Madison (23.9). Gordon put 49 points on Greenville on Dec. 22 and Davis scored 42 at Xenia on Dec. 15.

Just two weeks ago Triad senior Hadley LeVan scored 51 points in a loss to West Jefferson. That was topped when Fairmont senior Jack Hendricks put 52 points on Indianapolis Washington on Dec. 30. His 14 three-pointers is tied for second most in state history.

That cluster of 50-plus games is significant because it hadn’t been done by area boys since Damion Cook of Tri-Village on the back end of the 2015 season.

A story about that — before Curtis joined the 5-0 club — stoked reader responses. We listed who had scored 50 or more according to Cox Media Group Ohio records and asked for your help in identifying others.

Reader Gary Sutton recalled the night Patterson’s Bruce “Sky” King scored 50 in 1972. “It was at West Milton and their center had something like 43 points,” emailed Sutton, a student loan collections manager at Wright State. “Both were in foul trouble so no defense was being played.”

Graham graduate Terry Yinger made sure we knew about the night Richard Goddard scored 53 against Bellefontaine in February 1964. An All-Ohio guard, Goddard converted 27 free throws against the Chieftains, which is still tied for third most in state history.

Don Gilgrist of Middletown remembered Richard Hendrix of Lakota scoring 51 points against visiting Madison in January 1964.

Even former Journal Herald and Dayton Daily News sports writer Bucky Albers pitched in. He found a Shelby County League record book that listed Fairlawn’s Tom Pitts scoring 55 in an overtime game at Jackson Center in February 1972. Also listed was Doug Brandewie of Fort Loramie scoring 50 against Ansonia in January 1977.

There also were interesting calls and emails about other high scorers who didn’t make the club. Neither Tecumseh’s Dave Zeller nor Wayne Embry went for 50, although they still hold many Arrows’ records. How about the Carsons of the Springfield North and South eras, Fred, John and current Wildcats coach Isaiah? Nope; they’re not club members.

Belmont’s Don May and Bill Hosket Jr. likely delivered 50 points each during the state championship 1963-64 season, but that couldn’t be verified.

Turns out, we have many more area hot shots than previously known. Readers, athletic directors, former teammates and relatives forwarded the following players who also joined the area’s 5-0 club:

56 points: Jerry Burns, Ross, 1956.

52: Jarron Cumberland, Wilmington, 2016.

51: Jake Cook, Greenville, 1991; Justin Cox, Southeastern, 1993.

50: Greg Gyenes, Miamisburg, 1984; Aaron Perry, Southeastern, 1989.

See our sports websites for an updated listing of all-time area boys and girls who have scored 50-plus. Contact us at sports@coxohio.com with information about others we missed.

• Valley View’s Hunter Stidham scored a school-record 41 points in last week’s 80-42 defeat of visiting Madison. The senior hit four 3-pointers, converted seven of eight free throws and added eight rebounds, six blocks, five steals and three assists in a dominating effort. She surpassed a record that had held up for 44 years and was set when Denise Izor went for 39 points in 1974.

Stidham averages 20.6 points, which is good for second in the Southwestern Buckeye League behind Franklin’s Layne Ferrell (21.4). Signed to play basketball at Maryville University in St. Louis, Stidham needs 28 more points to become the Spartans’ all-time career scoring leader.

Valley View (11-0) and Waynesville (11-0) are the only unbeaten SWBL teams. They’ll play at Waynesville in the regular-season finale for both on Feb. 10.

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