Article and Photo by Stephen Forsha, The Highland County Press
DODSONVILLE — Lynchburg-Clay senior Peyton Scott made history not once, but twice Thursday night. Scott became the all-time leading scorer in Lady Mustangs history, plus she also set a new program mark for points scored in a game as the Lady Mustangs defeated the West Union Dragons, 79-30.
With 6:03 left in the fourth quarter, Scott stepped to the free-throw line, knowing she needed just two points to become the all-time leading scorer in Lynchburg-Clay girls basketball history. Needing 37 points entering the game to break the record, Scott looked over at head coach Whitney Lewis — who was the all-time leading scorer entering the game — and her head coach said to her, “Don’t miss.”
Scott went on to make both free throws to set the new scoring mark for the Lady Mustangs program, eventually finishing the game with a career-high 42 points, which is also a new record for the girls program. She also added 15 rebounds, seven steals and four assists. The previous single-game scoring record of 41 points was held by Kim Roberts and Linda (Fittro) Hatten.
“Peyton is a great player,” Lewis said. “As a coach, you try to get your players to reach their potential, and I think with Peyton, as far as potential, it is above and beyond what this record is. I knew as a freshman when she was coming in this night was going to happen, and I’m super happy to be a part of it.”
Lewis, who previously held the girls scoring mark with 1,705 points, was all smiles after Scott broke the scoring record, as it took her back to when she broke the record that was then held by her coach, Linda (Fittro) Hatten.
“It was reminiscent, just kind of the feelings and all that, and I was super excited for her when she got to that free-throw line,” Lewis said. “We have a pretty good relationship, so we’ve been going back and forth with each other. I told her to come get me and she did, and it is pretty cool to be a part of it.”
Following the game, Scott now has 1,711 points, and the senior spoke about the achievement.
“It is the best, and there is no better feeling not only doing this yourself, but your teammates are always there for you,” Scott said. “We are always preaching this is a team sport and you can’t win with only one person, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the teammates I have this year and the past four years.
“I’m thankful for my family, my friends, the coaching staff, the team and all the support from the community. It just has been great being here at Lynchburg, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way.”
As for how the game went about for the Lady Mustangs — who are now 8-0 overall, 6-0 in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference — they got off to a strong start with a 20-8 first-quarter lead, with five points by Zoe Fittro, two points from Chelsea Hart, 11 points from Scott (including a 3-pointer) and two points by Logan Binkley.
The second frame was more of the same for the Lady Mustangs as they added 25 points to their total, while their defense held West Union to five points for a 45-13 advantage. In that second frame, Scott collected 15 points, as she sank three free throws with no time left on the clock after being fouled.
Also in the second, Fittro sank two baskets for four points, Hart added three points, Serena Smith sank a bucket for two points and Sam Kirby connected with a free-throw opportunity to send LC to a halftime lead of 45-13.
Maybe the most athletic play of the game came with 3:41 left in the second quarter as Scott in transition found Fittro in the paint with a behind-the-back pass for a layup by Fittro to make the lead for LCHS, 35-10.
At halftime, Scott had already totaled 26 points, and the Lady Mustangs weren’t finished in the scoring column in the second half. The third frame saw them outscore the visitors, 17-9 with Fittro sinking a 3-pointer and scoring eight points. The third frame also had six points by Scott, one point by Kirby and two points from Binkley for a lead of 62-22.
Lynchburg-Clay wrapped up the game with a 17-8 final frame as Fittro made a free throw, and Smith connected with a basket for two points. Scott added 10 points in the quarter, including a 3-pointer, and Katie McLaughlin made two buckets for four points in the fourth.
Fittro finished with 18 points and six rebounds, while Binkley totaled four points with eight rebounds.