LA CENTER — At the end of Saturday’s game against Christian Fellowship School, Ballard Memorial senior Madison Calvin couldn’t believe what her coach was telling her.
“My coach told me in the locker room, and I said, ‘Say what?’ ” Calvin said. “I was really shocked. I didn’t know I had done that well.”
Calvin had indeed put together a performance for the record books. Her 56 points set a school record and is tied for 28th all-time in state history. But Calvin had no idea just how high up the scoring ladder she was climbing during the game.
“I thought I scored maybe like 30 points, so when they said that (56 points), I was really shocked,” she said.
While the eye-popping point total stood out, Calvin was much more than just a scorer Saturday in the Lady Bombers’ 83-77 overtime win over CFS. She added 18 rebounds, six assists and five steals in what head coach Tim Adams described as a great all-around performance.
“We cut it (the deficit) from 59-51 on two baskets — a three and a two — and she didn’t score either one of those, but she assisted on both of them. So this wasn’t just a scoring game for her,” Adams said. “She played an overall game, but her scoring definitely took over.”
According to the stats on the KHSAA website, Calvin shot 20-of-33 (59%) from the field, including 3-of-6 on 3-pointers, while going 7-of-12 (58%) at the foul line. The number of field goal attempts and makes both rank in the top 16 in state history.
“That sounds like a lot of shots, but she was incredibly efficient,” Adams said. “She just played really hard, and the game just kind of happened for her.”
Calvin agreed, saying the performance essentially just came in stride of her doing what she needed to do to lead her team to victory.
“I just gave a lot of effort the entire game. My shots just kept falling, so that’s the reason why I scored so much. I just played really hard,” she said. “It was a really fun and exciting game. I have not played a game like that in a really long time, and I’m glad we came out on the other end winning the game.”
Calvin came up big when it mattered most, scoring 14 of her team’s 17 points in the overtime period.
“I just felt a need to help my team out and score,” she said. “I didn’t want to give up. I wanted to win that game, so I was willing to do whatever it took to win. I just had to step up and start scoring a whole bunch.”
Adams said there was one word to describe Calvin’s play in overtime — clutch.
“In overtime, she really slowed herself down and took her time on offense and made really, really good decisions,” he said. “Clutch is the key word because every decision she made in overtime was an excellent basketball decision.”
Adams said he had seen some players score in the 40s during his coaching career but had never seen anything like the stat line Calvin put up Saturday. He described it as an “incredible performance,” adding he could tell the spectators in the Ballard Memorial gym knew they were witnessing a historical display.
“I could hear people muttering,” he said. “You could just feel the sense of how incredible it was.”
And it wasn’t as if Calvin was racking up the points on easy layups, Adams said.
“She made some incredibly tough shots in the half-court with people around her,” he said. “She made two incredible step-backs from about 15 to 17 feet late in the game when people closed her off in the lane, and she made a big-time 3-pointer that got us rolling in overtime.”
Perhaps even more impressive was that she came up big in overtime even after playing the majority of the minutes in regulation in what was the Lady Bombers’ first game in 12 days.
“She asked to be taken out with about a minute left in the first quarter to get her second wind, and she never came back out,” Adams said.
For the season, Calvin is shooting 49.5% from the floor while averaging 27.9 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. She’s never scored fewer than 21 points in a game this season and is always someone her coach can count on.
“I’ve been around Mady long enough to know that when I see her grab a rebound or I see her get in the open floor, there’s no need to really give her any direction because she’s going to make a good decision on her own,” Adams said. “She hasn’t wavered in her consistency all year, and that’s because she’s a competitor. She just tries to do what it takes to win.”
Calvin certainly did that Saturday in what marked the Lady Bombers’ third straight victory following a 1-7 start. She said it’s a performance that she’ll “for sure” remember the rest of her life.
“I’ll look back 30 years from now and still remember that fun game that we played against CFS on a Saturday,” she said.