- By Evan Merrill Sports Editor
- Mt. Carmel Register
MOUNT CARMEL -- Wednesday, Nov. 20 will surely be a day Keya Patton will remember for quite some time. It was Keya's world, and we were just living in it.
For the Wabash Valley College sophomore guard, it was one of those nights where it didn't matter. Whether it be her scoring on the block, pulling up from three, through one defender, two, a mid-range pullup, contested drives, you name it, Keya aced it. To her, the basket may as well have been the size of the Pacific Ocean.
Patton cemented her place in Wabash Valley lore by scoring a single-game record 46 points and netted the most points in a quarter in school history (24), as her explosive night led her No. 16 ranked Lady Warriors to a 103-64 onslaught of Olney Central College.
Early on it was a struggle for the Lady Warriors, who just appeared to be a bit lethargic in the first quarter.
Though they're more talented than the Blue Knights, Olney was just outhustling the Lady Warriors to balls and secured a 19-18 lead at the end of the first as a result.
"I think our energy wasn't good enough, we weren't playing hard enough," Wabash Valley College Head Women's Basketball Coach Lacey Shalenko said. "I just felt we thought it'd be easy so we were making simple mistakes just because our energy and effort wasn't good enough."
Their energy and pace would continue to improve as the game ensued, and you could start to see shades of their dominance as the half neared, as the Lady Warriors went on a 9-0 run and controlled the tempo late to regain a 46-36 lead at the break.
Entering halftime it wasn't as if Patton was ice cold or anything, she had already scored 17 points in the contest on an impressive 70 percent shooting percentage. But her third quarter explosion made those numbers look ordinary.
"We had a timeout after the first quarter and coach wasn't really happy so we knew we had to pick it up," Patton said. "I hadn't had many touches in the first quarter so second quarter I went out trying to get as many points as possible."
Shalenko realized the kind of zone her star sophomore guard was in and just kind of cleared out the way for her to do her thing.
Patton scored a school-record 24 points in the third quarter. Even more impressively was six of her shots came from 18-feet or farther, in a quarter in which she went 10-11 from the field.
What was once a tight contest was now a blowout, thanks to Patton's herculean effort in the quarter, allowing the Lady Warriors to build a distant 78-55 lead at the end of the third.
From then on the rout was on, and Patton scored five points in the fourth to give her 46 points prior to exiting midway through and being announced as team's single-game scoring record holder. She received a standing ovation for her accomplishment, a record that may stand for quite some time.
"She was a huge key for us," Shalenko spoke of Patton. "She's a competitor and I think she just kind of felt like her back was against the wall -- I know that I did. I'm grateful to have a kid like that because I didn't think it was selfish other than anything like let's go win this game. We needed to win the game and she did what she needed to do and what she's capable of."
Her feat eclipsed Montrell Mills' 42-point effort in 2009. For Patton, her previous career-high was 40 points, a mark she set back in high school at Indianapolis Cathedral High School.
Not that she knew such a night was on the horizon, but Patton said she had a good shootaround this morning and kept seeing the ball find the bottom of the net. That certainly continued into pregame warmups and then into the game. Her 46 points came in remarkably efficient fashion, 19-25 from the field, or 76 percent.
"I wouldn't say I thought they were going in, but we had a shootaround this morning and it went pretty well," Patton said. "Then I got some good shots up in warmups, so when I did take shots it felt pretty good."
"Our practices are really defense focused so I got my teammates going after me everyday, sitting on my moves, trying to make me do different things, blocking my shots, stopping me. It's nice to go against somebody who doesn't know what I can do. It's kind of easy."
Patton's game-high 46 points, five rebound, four assist, four steal night easily led both sides, though she was accompanied in double-figures scoring by Jazmyn Turner's 16 points and seven boards, Krisen Hunt's 11 points, five boards, four assists and three steals, as well as Bre Beck's 10-point, eight assist night at point guard.
The Lady Warriors took a significant advantage in the paint, outscoring Olney 40-21 and outscoring the Blue Knights 54-24 in the lane. They shot an efficient 63.8 percent from the field, a testament of their ability attacking the basket.
With the victory the No. 16 Lady Warriors improve to 6-1 on the season and notched their 50th straight home victory in the contest. They're currently on a five-game win streak in which they've beaten a pair of ranked opponents and walloped three unranked opponents by an average margin of 39 points.
They'll look to continue that momentum next week at home against Brescia's JV on Nov. 26 at 5:30 p.m., then on the road against Vincennes on Dec. 4 at 4 p.m.
OCC -- 19 17 19 9 -- 64
WVC -- 18 28 32 25 -- 103
WVC scoring: Patton 19 3 46, Turner 8 0 16, Hunt 4 2 11, Beck 4 2 10, Moore 4 0 9, Gibson 3 0 7, Aikens 1 0 2, Pruitt 1 0 2.