McDowell boys coach Brian Franklin happens to be one of the top basketball players to ever suit up for Western North Carolina’s largest high school.
So, it’s worth noting when Franklin is taken aback by an individual performance for the Titans.
In an 88-79 win over Roberson on Dec. 27, Raekwon Miller tied a school record for single-game scoring (42 points) held by Franklin and two others.
Miller was 12-for-19 from the field in that holiday tournament game and made 16 of his 18 free-throw attempts. The 6-foot-2 senior also had nine assists and six steals.
“We’ve had a lot of great players come through McDowell, but I would dare anyone to find a better night than that one,” Franklin said. “I don’t think you can.”
McDowell and Roberson met again Thursday night in Marion.
Miller’s 24-point outing in a 61-47 home victory was a bit more subdued than the first go-around. But his steadiness still amazes Franklin.
Miller went into Friday scoring 23.0 points a night for the Titans (7-6, 2-1) to go along with an average of 3.5 assists. He has scored 20 or more points in seven games and is also one of McDowell’s most aggressive players on defense.
Franklin said Miller grew about an inch and a half and put on nearly 20 pounds since last season.
“It’s been an up-and-down kind of season for us since we’re almost a .500 team,” Miller said.
“But I just want to do whatever is necessary to help my team win. I enjoy (shooting more than the past), but I like getting assists, as well.”
Basketball is the only sport Miller plays at McDowell, and he pursues that passion in the offseason for the Forest City Heat AAU team.
Miller has not made a college commitment, but he hopes to play at the next level, even if it means a walk-on opportunity.
“Raekwon has grown not only (physically), but in other ways as a player,” Franklin said.
“There have been a number of games this season where he’s led us in rebounds. He’s a great player and a great kid. I think some college out there would really benefit from having him as part of their program.”