DeCock

His 67 points have never been topped

Staff WriterFebruary 28, 2010 

  • N.C. high school players who have scored 50 points or more in a game.

    Pts

    Name

    Teams

    Year

    Score

    67

    Bob Poole

    Clayton vs. Corinth-Holders

    1950

    88-27

    65

    JamesOn Curry

    E. Alamance vs. W. Alamance

    2004

    100-72

    65

    David Smith

    North Surry vs. Maiden

    1967

    95-75

    63

    Jeff Ward

    Nakina vs. Acme-Delco

    1982

    61

    Chris Paul

    West Forsyth vs. Parkland

    2002

    117-71

    60

    John Byrne

    Wake Forest vs. Benson

    1968

    106-56

    59

    Freddie Little

    Bunn vs. South Granville

    2004

    91-71

    59

    JamesOn Curry

    East Alamance vs. Chatham (Va.)

    2001

    112-59

    59

    Tony Byers

    Bessemer City vs. Tryon (Gaston)

    1969

    57

    Wayne Dillard

    Cary vs. Selma

    1965

    56

    John Lucas

    Durham Hillside vs. Orange

    1972

    124-113

    56

    Yogi Poteat

    Hendersonville vs. Christ School

    1958

    104-58

    55

    Shamari Spears

    Salisbury vs. E. Davidson

    2003

    99-62

    55

    Terrell McIntyre

    Hoke vs. Anson

    1995

    55

    Donald Williams

    Garner vs. Millbrook

    1991

    76-75

    55

    Cleveton Arthur

    John Wilkinson vs. Benhaven

    1972

    105-81

    55

    Jerry Simpson

    Boonville vs. Yadkinville

    1955

    79-62

    54

    Phil Ford

    Rocky Mount vs. New Bern

    1974

    83-74

    54

    Morris Walker

    Lansing vs. Beaver Creek

    1956

    54

    Larry Morgan

    Colfax

    1962

    54

    Steve Harrison

    Reidsville vs. Northwest Cabarrus

    1991

    54

    Donald Elliot

    Dallas vs. Charlotte Catholic

    1971

    54

    Corwin Woodard

    Wilson Fike vs. SW Edgecombe

    1990

    103-106

    54

    C. Vanlandingham

    N. Henderson vs. Hendersonville

    2008

    53

    James McCleave

    Bandys vs. Bunker Hill

    1977

    53

    Ronnie McAdoo

    Orange vs. Durham

    1977

    53

    Robert Dupree

    Pine Level vs. Corinth-Holders

    1950

    53

    Buzz Hauser

    Westfield vs. Flat Rock

    1956

    80-45

    53

    Josh Reep

    West Davidson vs. Thomasville

    1995

    94-110

    53

    Nick Winstead

    Coopers vs. Middlesex

    1967

    52

    Bray Pemberton

    N. Mecklenburg vs. W. Mecklenburg

    2001

    52

    Don Buckner

    Stanley vs. Bessemer City

    1955

    52

    Calvin Daniels

    Washington vs. Southside

    2004

    89-77

    52

    Phil Ford

    Rocky Mount vs. Northeastern

    1974

    52

    Justin Strickland

    East Davidson vs. North Davidson

    2005

    99-101

    51

    Phil Ford

    Rocky Mount vs. Sanderson

    1973

    92-87

    51

    James Terrell

    Louisburg vs. SW Randolph

    1990

    100-74

    51

    James Lassiter

    Harrellsville vs. Mars Hill

    1960

    91-34

    51

    Harvey Petty

    Crest vs. West Mecklenburg

    1989

    51

    James Terrell

    Louisburg vs. N.C. Science & Math

    1989

    51

    Donald Williams

    Garner vs. Millbrook

    1991

    108-105

    51

    Jerry Webster

    Jordan-Matthews vs. Pittsboro

    1957

    92-76

    50

    Rodney Hyatt

    Anson vs. Hoke

    1985

    81-86

    50

    Butch Hassell

    Beaufort vs. Newport

    1960

    50

    David Smith

    North Surry vs. Hildebran

    1967

    50

    Lefty Inman

    Westfield vs. Franklin

    1950

    50

    Rusty Larue

    Northwest Guilford vs. Reidsville

    1992

    50

    Alex Martin

    High Point Central vs. E. Davidson

    2000

    81-59

    50

    Teddy Smith

    Durham Riverside vs. Raleigh Enloe

    2001

    101-104

    50

    C. Vanlandingham

    N. Henderson vs. Pisgah

    2008

    SOURCE: NCHSAA

Over the past six decades, as a college basketball player, a serviceman, a Baptist preacher and a retiree, Bob Poole has often run into people who know his name and a number: 67.

Poole scored 67 points for Clayton High School in an 88-27 win over Corinth-Holders 60 years ago this month. Not once in the intervening six decades has anyone scored that many points in a North Carolina high school game.

Poole's record has withstood the challenge of some of the highest-scoring players in the country, from Pete Maravich to David Thompson to Phil Ford to Donald Williams to JamesOn Curry and the rest of the best North Carolina has ever produced.

"I don't go out broadcasting it, but they've heard of it from somewhere," Poole said. "Especially the basketball fans. They see Phil Ford and David Thompson and Michael Jordan and see little ol' me and say, 'How in the world did you get there?' "

Poole, 78, has waited for someone to break his record. He's still waiting. The record survives today, 60 years later, in every way except one.

"I don't remember such a ballgame as that," said David Wilder, a sophomore on the 1950 Corinth-Holders team. "We were in Johnston County, of course. Clayton, we didn't ever play Clayton. Kenly, Micro, Selma, Smithfield - but I don't remember playing Clayton."

Wilder is one of six Corinth-Holders players whose names appear in the scorebook Poole still has, mounted in a frame below a team picture of the Comets.

It's a souvenir Poole has kept since that game. Most of his life since was spent as a Baptist preacher in Elizabeth City; for Wilder, it's proof of something he would just as soon forget - and did.

Times takes its toll

Time has wiped Wilder's mind of that night, just as it has taken its toll on Corinth-Holders High School. By 1969, it had been shuttered and merged into the new Smithfield-Selma High School.

While Clayton has grown, blossomed and exploded into a suburban hub since becoming a bedroom community for Raleigh, the Johnston County crossroads known on maps as Hocutts Corner, where the one-room schools of Corinth and Holders were merged in 1921, hasn't changed much in the years since the basketball team was so badly beaten.

The acres surrounding the intersection of Highways 96 and 231 remain a patchwork of small farms, many with weather-beaten tobacco barns standing in various stages of disrepair. Wilder moved back to the area after serving in the military and grew tobacco, corn, cotton, soybeans, wheat - just about anything the land would sprout.

The old, brick school building was downsized to an elementary school before it was replaced in 1997; only the gym, built in 1956, remains. Johnston County's recent growth has provoked the construction of a new Corinth-Holders High School, set to open in the fall about two miles away and house 1,300 students.

There were 187 students enrolled in the winter of 1950, a close-knit group that shared many of the same last names: Hinton, Price, Narron, Hocutt - families who farmed the land and named the roads that crisscross the area between Wendell and Smithfield.

Dorothy Powell was a Hinton. A member of the class of 1951, she lived about four miles away, and generations of her family attended the school.

"My mother actually went to school there, and she's 98 years old," she said. "My husband lived just across the street from the school. They had a country store there on the farm."

In 1953, Dorothy "Dot" Hinton married Billy Powell, a junior who played in that loss to Clayton. A shipbuilder in Newport News, Va., he died in 2000, joining Keven Hinton and Clifton Price from the 1950 team.

A difficult season

There were two athletic teams at Corinth-Holders that year: boys basketball and girls basketball. The picture of the boys team in the yearbook shows eight players and a manager in shiny letter jackets and short haircuts sitting with coach W.A. Shaver. Harold Hinton was the boys sports editor of the newspaper, Keven Hinton a 4H section leader, Hugh Wilder the assistant business manager of the yearbook, the Corinthian.

It was a difficult season, with no seniors on the team, and Poole's rout wasn't the only blemish on its record. Earlier that season, Robert Glenn Dupree of Pine Level High School scored 53 against Corinth-Holders to set a new state record. It was that performance that prompted Poole's teammates to pass up open lay-ups and feed him the ball under the basket to help him set a new mark on Feb. 10, 1950. Poole didn't even catch on until the second half.

There was little Corinth-Holders could do to stop it.

"We were just a mediocre team," Wilder said. "We didn't win many ballgames. We didn't have - our boysweren't as tall as some of the other ones. Back when I was going to school, we didn't do all that practicing that we do now, and we weren't all that good."

Even the record book is unkind to Corinth-Holders, misidentifying the defunct school as "Corinth Holder." The present-day Corinth-Holders Elementary School, on its Web site, says the first season for the old high school's basketball team was 1956-57. The record of that 1950 team has been lost.

Something in that name

The name Corinth, taken from the Greek city so prominent in the life of the apostle Paul, would go on to play an even larger role in Poole's life. After playing basketball for a powerful Furman team - he played the night Frank Selvy scored 100 points - and graduating from seminary at Gardner-Webb, he was offered a job as pastor at a church in Elizabeth City: Corinth Baptist.

"Strangest thing, when I got out of the service at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, we had a 7- or 8-day-old daughter, and the place we stopped in Mississippi the first night was Corinth, Miss.," Poole said. "Something was written in the wind somewhere."

Poole spent 29 years at the church, retiring in 1994. As far as he's concerned, that's his legacy, not a long-ago basketball game. The record lives on nonetheless, even outlasting half of the players it was achieved against.

In six decades, Poole has never crossed paths with a single one of them.

"I never talked to anybody after the game," Poole said. "Today I probably would have written them a letter of apology. You don't like to be made fun of or humiliated, whatever the word is. I think about that a whole lot more than I used to, because it can be done to you, too. At the time, I didn't really know what was going on. Now, when I reflect back over the years, maybe that wasn't the best thing to have done."

Time passes. Poole's record stands, for how long no one knows. With each passing year, it becomes a little easier for some to admire, a little easier for others to forget.

luke.decock@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8947

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