YELLOW SPRINGS — The record already in hand during the fourth quarter of Thursday’s game, Yellow Springs senior Angie Smith had a huge smile on her face running back on defense.
She was not thinking about the 27 points she had in the game. Instead, she was thrilled to throw a pass to freshman Payton Horton for her first two points at the varsity level.
“I’m not a big fan of the focus being on me,” Smith said. “Getting the ball to other people for them to score those points which just gives me the assist is so much fun. I think everyone on the team has scored now.”
All 11 Bulldogs have in fact done so this season, but Smith had all of focus on her on this night as she set the new career scoring record at Yellow Springs during the win against Jefferson Township.
One point from tying Evin Wimberly, Smith poked away a steal near mid-court and with no one in front of her, she calmly strolled her way toward the basket and completed the accomplishment with 12 seconds remaining in the quarter on a right-handed layup.
“I was really nervous I was going to miss that layup and I was just like please, please, please as I was slowing down,” she said.
The bucket was her final one of the game during the 60-8 victory, putting her at 1,771 for her career and one point ahead of Wimberly. She remained in the game though not to shoot, but with specific intentions in mind.
“She asked me earlier who had not scored yet this year,” head coach Nick Minnich said. “She just looked at me and said I want to get them points. I told her OK, yes let’s do it. That’s Angie right there.”
Scoring points is something of a given which Smith accomplishes each night on the court, but her overall contributions help make Yellow Springs more than a one-player team.
Coming into Thursday’s game, Smith was the MBC leader in assists, averaging 5.9 per game, as well as steals at 4.7. She was also second in blocks, just being one behind teammate Aaliyah Longshaw, and second in total rebounds behind another teammate in Corinne Totty.
Smith had attempted 151 free throws, with the next closest MBC player at 49.
“She does want to score and I want her to score the basketball but she’s also a gift giver,” Minnich said. “That’s why she leads the league in assists because she can pass the ball. Her getting to do that means the most to her.”
The scoring record is still a feat Smith said she is proud of to have reached. Earlier this season when she reached the 1,500-point milestone, she did not want to be made aware of how close she was so she could focus on playing.
Smith originally thought she needed 17 points to reach the record before Minnich informed her it was actually 27.
“I originally thought I wasn’t going to get it tonight,” she said. “Then I was told they made a poster for me and that they wouldn’t be able to be here on Saturday with it and so I had to get it.
“We got to the third quarter and then I was just told I was four away and let’s go get it. I originally was like why did you tell me that, but then I got that steal and just was like don’t miss. I thought it might be so embarrassing if I missed.”
There was no need to be embarrassed on this night as the whistle blew to stop the game as soon as the record was set and all of her teammates rushed the floor to celebrate.
The jubilation from her teammates was Smith’s favorite part.
“I really liked coming together as a team because that was really fun,” she said. “Everybody was just jumping and at first I was like OK, but then I saw all the people I didn’t know that were here to support me and the poster was made and it just made me feel so liked and so loved.”
Two chances to set the record had been postponed due to cancelations in the last 10 days for the Bulldogs, but Smith did not even need to play the entire game to get to the record mark in this one. Yet she remained in the game to be a distributor and a leader for her teammate’s on the floor.
It’s part of the reason why Yellow Springs is now 11-4 this season and unbeaten in the MBC with a 6-0 record. For as much as Smith scores, Minnich says she is still more passive than he would like but plays in such a way it’s a good thing for the team.
“I love Angie,” Minnich said. “She’s the easiest kid to coach, somewhat hardheaded because she’s smart and wants to ask questions which is great but just want a clear picture about things.
“As a senior she’s helping coach in practice and doing things when the coaches aren’t watching because she’s just very detail oriented. As a coach, the kids probably listen to all the upperclassman more than they listen to me anyway. I saw her get her big grin out there and I kept her in the game for that reason.”
Averaging 22.3 points per game this season, Smith still has a chance to reach 2,000 points with four games left in the regular season and possibly multiple tournament games to follow.
If she does not reach the next milestone, Smith says she is beyond satisfied with reaching this goal she set and is also ready to see what happens next for her.
And for as good of a basketball player as she shows herself to be, her future may not even involve it in the slightest.
“I have grown up playing basketball and watching basketball and I’ve never really had a life or anything outside of sports and to get the opportunity to do something outside of that thank you is definitely something I would like to try and pursue,” Smith said. “I’m definitely excited to get a job because I’ve never really had one before.”
Due to recent postponements, Yellow Springs made several changes to the remainder of its regular season schedule.
A non-league game against National Trail on Saturday will no longer be played in order to fit in a game against Middletown Christian which was scheduled to be played on Tuesday. The tip will remain at 11 a.m.
A trip to Ansonia has been added on Monday as a non-league contest with a 6:30 p.m. start time.
The final game of the regular season hosting Legacy Christian has been pushed up from Feb. 3 to Feb. 1 and will still begin at 6:45 p.m.