Anna Buhigas of the Dublin Scioto High School girls basketball team realized that she would have some convincing to do if she intended to get back in the game in the final quarter against Worthington Kilbourne on Jan. 11.
After the Irish outscored the visiting Wolves 18-0 in the third quarter to take a 55-19 lead, the senior point guard knew that coach Matt Fisher was ready to sit his starters for the remainder of the game.
The reason Buhigas was itching to get back on the court was that she had an opportunity to break the program's single-game scoring record of 28 points. She had scored 23 points in the Irish's previous game, a 45-39 victory over Hilliard Bradley on Jan. 8, and didn't want to fall short of the record again.
"I hit six 3s in the first half and I was doing the math in the locker room and I knew I had another shot at it," Buhigas said. "At the end of the third quarter, I looked at the guy who was doing the (statistics) book and he said I had 27. I was like, 'Coach, coach?'"
Buhigas got her wish and broke the record with a fast-break layup early in the fourth quarter. She finished with 34 points in the 61-29 win, as Scioto improved to 9-4 overall and 6-2 in the OCC-Cardinal Division.
The Irish took a six-game winning streak into their contest against Thomas Worthington on Jan. 15.
"I didn't know how many (points) she had," Fisher said. "We left her in to get the record and she happened to get fouled on a 3-pointer and made her free throws. When she left the game with 34 points, I was surprised she had that many."
Watching in the stands was 2007 graduate Crystal Murdaugh, who set the previous record as a senior. In the 2006-07 season, Scioto was ranked first in the final Division I state poll, finished 25-1 and reached a regional final before losing to Pickerington North 52-42.
Through 13 games, Buhigas was averaging 17.7 points and had been held to single digits only twice. She had nine points in a 41-36 win over Watterson in the opener Nov. 27 and scored nine in a 57-52 loss to Mount Vernon on Dec. 11.
"I try to work my butt off on defense and notice that I'll get fast-break points," she said. "That really gets me fired up. If (opponents) start face-guarding me, then that just opens it up for someone else. I certainly don't need to have these kinds of nights for the team to win."
Junior forward Alex Mielke, senior forward Katie Kollins and freshman guard Camille McLellan have taken advantage of opponents who focus on Buhigas.
McLellan was averaging 7.3 points before injuring her shooting hand during the game against Bradley. She did not play against Kilbourne and Fisher wasn't sure if she would be available for the game against Thomas Worthington.
Kollins was averaging 6.1 points and Mielke was averaging 5.8 through 13 games.
Fisher has been impressed with his team's defensive play in recent games. Scioto was allowing an average of 43.8 points through 13 games but had held its opponents to 39 or fewer points in three consecutive games before facing Thomas Worthington.
The Irish held Kilbourne to 22 fewer points than they did in the first round of league play, when they beat the Wolves 59-51 on Nov. 30.
"We have to be consistent, especially on defense," Fisher said.
"We had a bad run earlier in the season and we were allowing 50 points or more a game. The second time (through league play) we're not going to allow that."
Ashwill leading way for boys squad
Josh Ashwill helped extend the boys team's winning streak to eight games with a career-high 33 points in a 60-42 victory over Kilbourne on Jan. 11.
The senior guard went 13-for-18 from the field, including 6-for-8 from three-point range, as Scioto improved to 11-1 overall and 6-1 in the OCC-Cardinal.
"He put on an offensive display and was just dialed in," coach Tony Bisutti said. "He's had a couple of games where he was doing a lot of those things for us. I could just kind of tell he was ready to bust out."
Ish Kamara, a 1999 graduate, holds the program's single-game scoring record of 38 points, which he set against Reynoldsburg during the 1997-98 season.