By Chris Parker (VIDEO from Republic Tiger Sports)
61 points. 16 made 3-pointers. Two school records. One state record.
Republic senior Drew McMillin simply could not miss in Republic’s 86-49 win over Camdenton to open the Bolivar Tournament on Thursday.
“After I made my third or fourth (three-pointer) I started to kind of feel it. You could kind of tell that my teammates were starting to look for me more. I just kind of got hot, so I just kept letting it fly,” McMillin said. “I don’t think I have ever shot the ball that well. Not even in a shooting drill or anything like that.”
“He got in the zone and just kept making. Nothing surprises me with Drew McMillin,” Republic head coach Tim Brown said.
McMillin knew he was having a game, but it was shots on either side of the halftime break that he began to really feel he had the chance to do something special.
“There at the end of the first half I hit a step-back before halftime. Right after that I thought ‘I don’t think I can miss right now. I think I could drop kick it and it would go in’,” McMillin said. “Then I came out in the second half and made the first two in a row and thought this is definitely my shooting night.”
At the break, McMillin had 27 points with seven made 3-point shots.
“Honestly, I didn’t know how many points I had a first half until one of my buddies on the team came in. He goes ‘Oh my gosh Drew, you have 27 points right now’. We all kind of laughed. Then we were talking about we could go for the (Republic single game scoring) record, so they all said let’s set a lot screens for Drew and give him the ball. I had all the confidence in the world that I was going to break the record at halftime,” McMillin said.
Republic operates on a team-first mentality, and while McMillin was aiming to put his name in the record books, it was going to take a team effort to make it happen.
“One thing about Drew and our team is that we have a bunch of guys to do what we have to be successful. To be able to do something like that you have to have cooperation from your teammates,” Brown said.
McMillin needed 30 second-half points if he was to break John Wakeman’s record of 56 points set in 1989.
His teammates kept consistently finding him in spots to help make that dream a reality.
“I credit them (teammates) a lot. There in the second half it almost seemed like they were competing for who could get the most assists to me,” McMillin said. “They are all my really good friends. It feels nice to make shots, but it feels even better to receive passes from my good buddies to put me in position to make those shots.”
When the clock hit zero, McMillin had knocked down 16 three pointers and established a new single game record at Republic with 61 points. McMillin’s 16 three-pointers tie him with Scott City’s Jon Beck (1997) and Park Hill Central’s Brandon Wagner (2017) for the most three’s made in a single game in Missouri history. The mark smashed the Republic record of eight three point makes in a single game.