By Brian Eller - firstname.lastname@example.org
STRASBURG -- With less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Nicole Biller lined up for a 3-point attempt at the top of the arc. She squared her feet, released the ball, and watched the shot swish through the net.
The basket didn't mean much in terms of the final score, as Broadway was already nursing a double-digit lead. But as Biller cracked a smile and began to celebrate while she ran back on defense, she knew she had achieved something special. That basket for Biller was her seventh 3-pointer of the night, setting a Daily Classic tournament record and Broadway High School record for most 3-pointers in a game, as the Gobblers rolled over Warren County, 64-25.
"When she got that fifth one, I knew our record in school history was six," Broadway coach Brian Alger said. "So when she tied it at six I was like, 'we've got to get her another shot,' and not that we want to bury a team that we have up, but we're trying to take care of our players. When she got that seventh one that's why she celebrated a little bit on that one. She's come along way and as a junior for her to do that, I'm really proud of her."
It seemed Biller was on course for a memorable night from the opening tip, as she hit her first five shots, four of which went for three points. Biller scored nine of her 27 points in the first quarter, helping the Gobblers jump out to a 19-2 lead heading to the second quarter. From there the junior continued to stay hot from the field, hitting two more field goals to give her 14 points at halftime.
"The first couple of minutes when I hit the first ones I just felt good," Biller said. "I don't know. My shots were just on and I was just feeling it. I just kept shooting."
Trailing 30-8 at halftime, Warren County's offense searched for answers, while the defense tried to find some way to limit Biller's scoring chances. Freshman Brianna Caison answered for the Wildcats in the third quarter, scoring her team's first six points to start the half, part of an 8-0 run by Warren County which brought the deficit to 18.
Biller couldn't be contained for long, however, as she hit her fifth 3-pointer with 2:36 left in the third quarter to help balloon the Gobblers lead to 26. To add to their troubles, the Wildcats then had to deal with Biller's teammate Heather Bagwell, who scored six of her eight points in the third quarter, giving Broadway a dual threat around the perimeter.
"Well, we were kind of keying in on number 12 in the first half," Warren County coach John Kelly said, "and then [Biller] came alive and it's hard to defend two shooters when that happens."
With the game already in hand heading to the fourth quarter, Broadway's offense continued to execute its crisp passing game, while the defense maintained its aggressiveness against the Wildcats, despite having just six players suited up for the game. The Gobblers forced 27 turnovers in the game, six of which came in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Biller used the last few minutes to notch her six and seventh 3-pointers, giving her the new tournament and school records.
After the game, Biller's teammates congratulated her outside of the team locker room, while Biller tried to find the words to express her feelings on her record-setting night. She couldn't say much about her performance, but managed to utter exactly what everyone assumed she was thinking.
"It feels really good," she said, smiling. "It feels really good."