The two all-time leading scorers in Lynchburg-Clay girls basketball history – Peyton Scott and her coach Whitney Lewis – celebrate together Thursday at LCHS. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha)
The two all-time leading scorers in Lynchburg-Clay girls basketball history – Peyton Scott and her coach Whitney Lewis – celebrate together Thursday at LCHS. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha)
Three years ago when Peyton Scott walked into the gym at Lynchburg-Clay High School as a freshman, girls basketball head coach and longtime girls scoring leader Whitney Lewis knew at that moment the day would eventually arrive when the school would be celebrating a new girls all-time scoring record holder.

Fast-forward to three short years later, and that thought by Lewis became a reality Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018 when Scott was fouled with the basketball, smashing hard into the wall at the Lynchburg-Clay gym. Following a couple seconds to regroup, Scott stood up with help from teammates, brushed herself off, stood at the free-throw line … and the rest was for the record books.

 


Even before Scott took the two free-throw attempts, Lewis yelled out to Scott, “Don’t miss,” as Lewis knew what the senior point guard was about to achieve with those two free-throw attempts. One make was going to tie Lewis’ record of 1,705 points scored in a career as a Lady Mustang. Two made free throws, and that was going to push Scott to the top of the mountain in Lynchburg-Clay girls basketball history.

Both shots swished through the hoop, and following a short celebration and going into the stands to give the game ball to her mother, Scott stood alone — as Alicia Keys’ “Girl On Fire” played throughout the gym — on the court, gaining a standing ovation, while sharing a big smile as she looked back to her teammates and coaches.

By the time the game was completed — the free throws happened with 6:03 left in the fourth quarter — Scott was not only the all-time leading scorer in LCHS girls basketball history, but she also gained the girls’ all-time mark for points scored in a single game, finishing the game against West Union with 42 points. That scoring feat was the second time in Scott’s career where she hit the 40-point plateau, because as a junior she had a 40-point game against Eastern Brown on Jan. 22, 2018. Before that accomplishment, Scott scored her 1,000th career point, also during her junior year, on Dec. 4, 2017 against Goshen.

Scott is averaging a double-double with 24.2 points per game and 10.7 rebounds per game, as she’s scored 194 points through eight games so far during her senior season. In her first three years, Scott scored 414 points as a freshman (15.9 ppg.), 531 points (19.7 ppg.) as a sophomore and 572 points (24.7 ppg.) as a junior.

“We had an amazing crowd that came out, and this community just supports me so much. I couldn’t be more grateful,” Scott said following the game. “[Coach Lewis and I] were joking about it, that I wanted to take her record over, but that other record was definitely just a bonus on the night. It was definitely a memorable night for me.”

Scott is not only a record-breaking basketball player who has signed to play Division I basketball at Miami University next year, but she’s also a very good soccer player as well. She is the LCHS soccer program’s all-time leading goals scorer — boys and girls — with 128 goals scored, leading LC in goals scored in each of her four years on the soccer field and in the process becoming a three-time All-Ohio selection.

Back on the basketball court, the humble Scott doesn’t take every shot available to her, as she gets her teammates involved as well. Scott is what is simply called a “team player,” and being one of the captains of the team, it is evident she is a leader by example as one of the first groups of people she thanked were her teammates after achieving the historic scoring record.

“It’s definitely no better feeling, knowing that you’re not only doing this yourself, but your teammates are always there for you,” Scott said. “We’re always preaching that this is a team sport and you can’t win with one person. I couldn’t be more grateful for the teammates I have this year and the past four years.

“I’m definitely just thankful for my family, my friends, everyone that supports me, this whole community, the coaching staff, the team. It’s just been great, being here at Lynchburg. I couldn’t imagine it any other way.”

Lewis — who also played Division I basketball at Wright State — knew firsthand the path taken by Scott in pursuit of the record, as Lewis herself when playing at LCHS broke the scoring record of her then head coach Linda Hatten, who is now the principal of LCHS.

Coach Lewis spoke about Scott surpassing her in scoring and what it has been like for her to coach Scott and watch her play these past four seasons.

“It was reminiscent, just kind of the feelings and all that,” Lewis said. “I was super excited for her when she got to that free-throw line. We have a pretty good relationship, so we’ve been going back and forth with each other. I told her to come get me and she did, and it is pretty cool to be a part of it. I said, ‘Don’t miss.’

“Peyton is a great player. As a coach, you try to get your players to reach their potential, and I think with Peyton, as far as potential, it is above and beyond what this record is. I knew as a freshman when she was coming in this night was going to happen, and I’m super happy to be a part of it.”

Thus far in her basketball career, Scott has played in 84 games, and within those games, she has scored 20-plus points in a game 47 times. She also has over 600 rebounds in her career, including 15 in the record-breaking game, a game where she also added seven steals and four assists.

In her time wearing the black and gold of Lynchburg-Clay, Scott is not only a two-time All-Ohio selection, but she also has earned All-SHAC honors three times, has been named to the District 14 Coaches' Association team three times, is a three-time All-District selection by the media and Scott was also selected as the SHAC Player of the Year during her junior season.

“Peyton has always been a talented player, but what really separates her from a lot of players is just her work ethic that puts her above and beyond,” Lewis said. “She’s always in here getting extra shots, working on her moves, whatever it might be. She puts the time in the gym, and with her talent level, it goes through the roof. Her potential for several great things is still to come – I mean, we’re [only] at Christmas break.”

Going back to gaining the record, there wasn’t a lot of pressure for Scott to achieve the feat, as she and Coach Lewis had fun with the pursuit of the chase of the record, with Scott speaking about how Lewis helped her achieve the mark.

“It’s not too bad. We have fun with it. We joke about it at a lot,” Scott said of having her coach hold the scoring record she was chasing. “She has always supported me throughout my high school career, whether it’s ups or downs. She’s always been there for me and supported me and helped me put in that extra work whenever I needed it. It’s awesome that she was my coach when I did this.

“She’s coached me four years now. She knows what type of player I am, what I like, what I don’t like, how I work. That’s definitely a lot easier for both of us to come out here and play every night, knowing that she knows that I’m just an extension of her on the floor.”

Lewis may have said it best about Scott when praising her for being a great teammate, coachable player and team leader.

“She makes everybody so much better. Just her presence on the floor, there’s so much attention given to her. She’s able to find those open people, her open teammates, and I think she enjoys their success just as much as hers,” Lewis said. “[Peyton] had great assists [Thursday] – the behind-the-back pass in transition – so that’s the type of player she is. It’s fun to watch, and it’s fun to coach.”

Scott didn’t know at the start of her high school career if she would achieve the record – she just wanted to leave her mark at Lynchburg-Clay in some way.

“I definitely wanted to make my mark here. I don’t know if this was definitely what was on my mind, but I wanted to make my mark on not only basketball, but on Lynchburg-Clay somehow,” she said. “I’m glad I could do it this way.”