Brooklynn Haywood made seven 3-pointers en route to a school-record performance
Gary Mills, the head coach of the Union girls basketball team, talked for a minute or so after the game Friday night, then opened it up to the rest of the team, asking to spotlight a teammate or two.
“Obviously we just witnessed something that was pretty unbelievable,” a Union player said to the group, according to Mills.
All the Titans agreed.
This was special.
And Brooklynn Haywood had earned the spotlight.
Haywood, a freshman, broke her own school record, scoring 50 points in Union’s 79-54 non-league victory over La Conner.
Yes. 50. As in Five-Oh.
Mills, who has coached boys and girls basketball for decades in Southwest Washington, said he cannot recall any player hitting the 50-point mark.
“We see her every single day so we know what she’s capable of,” Mills said. “But some day, we’re going to look back and say, ‘Did that really happen?’ We didn’t do anything special to get it for her. We weren’t calling play after play after play to get Brooklynn to 50 points. It just happened.”
The Titans had lost four of five before winning three games this week. Mills wasn’t focused on any individual’s stats. He just wanted to see the team get its mojo back this week.
“Our confidence got shaken a little bit,” Mills said. “I just wanted to win these games so bad. I was focusing on the part that we were playing well, running our stuff, executing.”
In the first half, he knew Haywood had the hot hand.
“We looked at the book. We had 38 points, and she had 34,” Mills recalled. “‘Really? I would have said she had 20.’”
Haywood had a couple of heat-check moments.
“She pulled up on the fast break a few times and hit 3s,” Mills said.
But not too many.
“For the most part, we spaced the floor and it was within what we were trying to do,” Mills said. “She just was the one converting. We all know she is capable. Tonight was one of those nights. We knew one of those was coming.”
Haywood scored 35 points in her second game this season to set a new record at Union. Now the bar is raised to 50.
“Video game numbers,” Mills said. “It’s ridiculous.”
Note: While no one can expect a high school basketball player to put up 50 points, Haywood’s talent level coming into the season was no secret. Clark County Today profiled Haywood in December, noting that she had two Division-I scholarship offers before she played her first high school game. For more on Haywood, here is that story: https://www.clarkcountytoday.com/sports/focus-on-a-freshman-unions-brooklynn-haywood-arrives/
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