It is a record that’s gone largely unchallenged over the last 30-plus years, but on Tuesday night, Patriots senior Anna Brecht surpassed South Dakota Sports Hall of Famer Steph Schueler as Sioux Falls Lincoln’s all-time leading scorer.
In need of 20 points to tie, Brecht racked up 28 in Tuesday’s 59-48 win over Yankton. She was an efficient 6-for-7 from inside the arc and knocked in 10 of 12 free throws.
“All records are meant to be broken and that’s awesome,” said Schueler, who accumulated 1,332 points at LHS from 1982-86. “Congratulations to Anna!”
“It’s really cool. Just to make history at this school – it means a lot,” Brecht said.
There were some early nerves for Brecht, who was relatively quiet in the first quarter. But that pressure started to lessen as she drew closer to the record.
“At the beginning of the game I think it was more tough because I just kind of wanted to get through it so it was out of my mind,” she explained. “But once I got closer to it, it actually got easier. I was just kind of playing in the flow of things.”
Brecht started to settle-in during the second quarter and after the break, she found her rhythm.
“In the third quarter, I started to get into the flow of things,” she explained. “When I started to get those layups and fast breaks, the pressure was kind of relieved then.”
The record-breaking shot came late in the third quarter.
Brecht caught a pass on the far wing, holding the ball over her head as she patiently scanned for an opening in the defense. When one presented itself, Brecht ripped the ball down and slashed towards the goal. She started to lean in as she approached the lane, going airborne just long enough to knock down the bank shot.
The immediate aftermath was rather anticlimactic with play continuing as if it were just another basket, but her achievement was recognized as soon as the quarter ended.
“I’m really excited for her,” said Anna’s mother, South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Famer Amy Mickelson Brecht. “I had hoped that maybe she could cross that threshold tonight, because it’s in the back of your mind. I think it’s a relief to her and quite honestly, to me.”
Brecht, who poured in points at a record pace (23.3 ppg) as a junior, is averaging 23.9 points through eight games in 2016-17.
“I knew Anna was special when she came in as a freshman and dropped 25 in her first game on the varsity team,” coach Matt Daly said. “She started as a scoring menace and she’s coming out in her senior year four years later as that same scoring menace.”
An All-City, All-State and South Dakota First Five selection in 2015-16, the Wisconsin-Green Bay signee is overtaking one of the greatest girls basketball players in state history in Schueler.
“It’s really special,” Daly said. “The record has been standing for 31 years…that tells you how momentous it is for Anna to get there so early in her senior year. She could put that thing out of reach.”
Barring injury, Brecht will have at least 13 more games to pad her career point total.
“We have a lot of games coming up, but I think we’re ready for it,” she said with a grin.
Follow Brian Haenchen on Twitter at @Brian_Haenchen .