Posted: Monday, 04 February 2013 10:57PM

Haney new West Plains scoring queen



Lebanon, Mo. (OzarksSportsZone.com)  -- West Plains senior Andi Haney broke the school's all-time scoring record during a 74-32 win on Monday, breaking a record that was set by another legend, Kerensa Barr.

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But Haney said following Monday's win that it might be a while before she has time to reflect on breaking a record that was held by the former Miss Show-Me Basketball. Barr scored 1,914 points during her career at the school before setting career records at Mizzou in assists and finishing her Tiger career with 1,186 points.

"She (Barr) just sent a text to me to congratulate (Haney) for breaking the record and that just tells you what kind of person she is," said West Plains head coach Scott Womack, who has been at the school 20 years, long enough to coach both players.. "(Barr) was a great player, but (Haney) has been a great player for us too and records are made to be broken, I guess. We hope someday (Haney's) is broken because that means good players are coming through."

On Monday, Haney helped West Plains, the No. 3 ranked team in Missouri Class 4, improve to 21-1 overall as they took care of the Lebanon Yellowjackets. The Zizzers built a big lead early and cruised to a 74-32 Ozark Conference win, improving to 5-0 in league play.

Haney entered the contest needing just five points to break the school's all-time scoring record of 1,914 points, and it didn't take her long. Haney converted a three-point play on the Zizzers' second possession of the game, then sank a pair of free throws with 4:47 remaining in the first quarter tying, then breaking the record.

But afterwards, Haney said she is still focused on the remainder of the season and is trying to keep things in perspective.

"It is going to be a big deal someday, but I think I'll wait until the season is over to really celebrate it," said Haney.

Haney entered the season needing roughly 500 points to break the school's all-time scoring record, but said she entered the season focused on the success of the team.

"I couldn't really worry about it going into the season," Haney said. "I let the fans and the media talk about it, but I feel like if I get drawn into that I'm never going to be able to score again, that is how I took it. I came into the season just looking to get to the state championship with my team because the further you get, the more points you will score.

"We have a great team and I am just glad to get it out of the way, that way we can focus more on our team and us getting to the state championship instead of focusing solely on me. They (teammates) take a lot of pressure off me, I can kick it out to Cass (Johnson), she can shoot the (jumper) and we have good scorers and rebounders."

Also a standout on the softball field, the accomplishment drew admiration from her opponent after Monday's game. Charlie Pentecost, who has seen his Yellowjacket teams tormented by Haney and the Zizzers as both the Lebanon softball and girls' basketball coach, spoke for several area teams who will be happy to see Haney graduate after this season.

"For her to break that record — that's a big deal and to see her go on to the next level is going to be something a lot of area teams are going to be happy to see," said Pentecost. "(Barr) was a heck of player so to break that record is a great accomplishment.

"(Haney) doesn't just score, she is a dribble penetration and dish-type player too and you can't just concentrate on her because she is going to find her teammates as well."

Her teammates were knocking down shots from all over the court on Tuesday, building a 19-2 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 41-12 lead at the half. Haney finished the first half with 15 points, and chipped in six more in the second half. Sophomore guard Cass Johnson added 14, senior Shelby Riggs scored 12, junior Shelby Acklin scored 10 and senior Kortnee Long added eight.

"It's been really good and I am really proud of the girls," said Haney. "A lot of them got varsity experience last year, and so I think that really helped us. We have a great group of girls. They work hard every day in practice and all of them know their role.

"I think that is what helps us as a team. We mesh well together and we get along on and off the court and I think that helps us."

West Plains is not only 21-1 this season, but have rarely been challenged. WPHS has won its 21 games by an average of 30 points per game. The Zizzers’ only loss was a 43-38 defeat to Ash Grove in the second round of the Pink and White Tournament.

"We hadn't really had a close game (before Ash Grove) and that kind of scares me going into districts and all that," Haney said. "We haven't played in an adverse situation ... I think if we could go back and play (Ash Grove) again we would win because we wouldn't want to let the same thing happen and we have learned from our mistakes."

Haney began her varsity career as a freshman playing alongside her older sister Tabitha Haney, who is two years her elder. But the two sisters will be reunited next season as Andi Haney has signed to play at Harding University in Searcy, Ark. where Tabitha is a sophomore guard. Womack said Haney turned down several NCAA Division I schools for the opportunity to reunite with her sister.

"They (Harding) have got a gem there," Womack said.

WEST PLAINS 74, LEBANON 32

Lebanon  2  10  14   6 - 32
West Plains  18   23   21  12 - 74

Lebanon (4-15) — Jenna Mitchell 8, Ashton Light 2, Kelsey Pemberton 4, Rachael Morris 4, Mikayla Widhalm 3, Mikalyn Callahan 5, Emma Carter 6.

West Plains (21-1, 5-0) — Cassidy Johnson 14, Andi Haney 21, Kortnee Long 8, Shelby Acklin 10, Kelli Bowen 5, Kendra Warren 4, Hannah Riggs 12.


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