For 30 years, Penns Valley alum Dana McDonald held the Centre County basketball scoring record with 2,269 points.
That reign finally ended Friday night.
But the 1989 Lady Ram grad wasn’t sad to see her career-scoring record fall. No, she congratulated new record-holder Halle Herrington (2,285 points) of Philipsburg-Osceola and expressed surprise her mark lasted as long as it did.
“Thirty years is a long time,” McDonald said with a laugh. “I’m pretty surprised it hadn’t been broken before now.”
Herrington made county history Friday night when she scored 29 points against McDonald’s alma mater to give her 2,285 for her career. (Penns Valley won the game, 81-50.) Herrington is one of only three county players, boy or girl, to ever reach the 2,000-point plateau.
The others are McDonald and State College grad Kyla Irwin (2,032 points), who’s currently a backup forward on the UConn women’s basketball team.
“She worked for it, so I’m really happy for her,” Irwin told the CDT, referring to Herrington’s new record. “She gets in the gym a bunch. I have worked out with her in the summer when I was home, and she works hard. She wants to compete, she wants to get better, and I think she does a great job with that.”
Both McDonald and Irwin reflected on their high school careers with the CDT, and both believed Herrington is sure to remember this moment — or at least the collection of moments formed playing basketball as a senior.
Irwin said she can still remember the play and the shot that put her over the 2,000-point plateau in high school. McDonald, who started at Duke, can no longer recall those exact plays. She’s not sure what her final shot looked like or when she broke the county’s old scoring record — she wasn’t even sure how many career points she ended up with — but she can still remember laughing in the locker room and spending time with her teammates.
Her advice to Herrington: Just enjoy the moment.
“If she’s like me, she’s not necessarily going to remember the actual number of points scored,” McDonald added in a telephone interview from Durham, N.C. “She’s going to remember the overall experience, the journey, and she should savor the last part of her senior year and her high school career because it’s special. It’s a special team she’ll always remember.”
Added Irwin: “It was just really awesome to have my name attached to a school like that forever. It did mean a lot to me. ... And Halle worked for that. She’s now one of the people in that group, so congratulations.”
Irwin and McDonald both stressed how important their teammates were to their success. And Herrington was no different Friday night. But both women also said their accomplishments went beyond that. For McDonald, it was the culmination of all her parents’ sacrifices — long drives to camps and AAU games — and, for Irwin, it was paying back a community she grew up with.
Neither county legend was able to be on-hand for Friday night’s game. But they both wished her all the best from a distance, in Connecticut and North Carolina, respectively.
“I just want to say congratulations,” said McDonald, who was inducted into the county Hall of Fame last year. “I’m super excited for her, I’m super excited for her family and her team and, really, the whole community of Philipsburg — because I feel like, for me, all of those people were part of my high school career.
“So I’m super excited for all of those folks, and I’m sure it’s been a really fun four years for all of them.”