Vivians' record-setting ball goes to the Hall

Victoria Vivians presents the ball she used to to break the Mississippi high school scoring record to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Musuem.

 

FOREST — The stands were packed and so was the stage at one end of Scott Central’s well-kept, Hoosiers-like gymnasium Friday night. Everyone was there to see history made.

Victoria Vivians, a tall, doe-eyed, unassuming 18-year-old, delivered on the history-making.

It did not take her long.

Vivians needed 23-points to break the Mississippi’s high school career scoring record. She scored the game’s first bucket in the first 3.5 seconds. She scored the game’s first seven points in under two minutes. She had 14 at the end of the first quarter despite resting two minutes. She swished a long, high-arching, 3-point jump shot with 5:31 left in the second quarter to score her 24th point.

That gave her 5,017 points in her career, two more than Mary Kathryn Govero Whittle, who finished her Mt. Salus career in 2007.

Vivians, who has signed with Mississippi State, finished the night with 41 points, about four under her season average and Scott Central defeated Union 77-44.

Vivians seemed almost embarrassed by the proceedings, although she did flash a smile at all the appropriate times.

“It felt good,” she shyly answered when asked how it felt to break the record with one of trademark, high-arching treys.

Vivians should have the national record of 5,424 points — set by Adrian McGowen of Goodrich (Texas) from 2003 to 2006 — well within reach. But (for some reason) the National Federation of State High School Associations counts only statistics compiled from ninth grade through senior years. Vivians scored 573 as an eighth-grader, when she averaged 17.9 points per game. She then averaged 25 as a freshman, 37 as a sophomore, 39.7 as a junior and 45 this season. No telling what she would average if her coach, Chad Harrison, kept her in the game during Scott Central’s many one-sided games. He does not.

“What people don’t understand is that Victoria is one of the most unselfish players you could ever imagine,” Harrison said. “She’s in it to win.”

It just so happens that Scott Central’s best chance to win is for Vivians to shoot — and she does, with a amazing range and with either hand when she drives to the bucket.

She will be an instant standout at Mississippi State, which won a nationwide recruiting battle for her services. But first she will try to lead Scott Central to a third state title in the last four seasons. With several games still to play, Vivians could set a record that could stand for decades if not forever.

During post-game ceremonies Vivians presented the game ball to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum where it will be displayed permanently, as testament to the most productive high school basketball career in Mississippi history.

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