On March 2, 1962, Wilt Chamberlain put on the most dominant performance in NBA history when he dropped 100 points on the New York Knicks to set a single-game scoring record that stands to this day.
Kobe Bryant is the only person who’s come close to sniffing that number thanks to the 81 points he put up during his legendary performance against the Raptors in 2006. However, *extreme 30 For 30 Trailer Guy Voice* what if I told you the man who put on the most dominant show in basketball history…wasn’t a man at all?
Most basketball fans are very familiar with Lisa Leslie, the WNBA legend who won two titles and three MVP awards as a member of the Los Angeles Sparks in addition to the four gold medals she secured while representing Team USA at the Olympics.
The superstar retired in 2009 before really capping off her illustrious career when she was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.
However, the origins of her legend can be traced back to what unfolded in a high school gym in California in 1990 during a game where Leslie officially announced her arrival in a manner that would be truly unbelievable if it hadn’t actually happened.
The time Lisa Leslie scored 101 points in a single half
Leslie had already made a name for herself by the time she enrolled at Morningside High School in Inglewood, as her standout play as a middle schooler had generated a ton of buzz among the college basketball programs that had begun to court her before she entered her freshman year.
The hype only continued to build as she honed her skills and grew into the 6’5″ frame that gave her a major edge over the competition she routinely towered over—including the unfortunate souls on the South Torrance High School squad that had the unenviable task of trying to stop her when they faced off on February 7, 1990.
It’s safe to say they failed in that quest based on what unfolded after the opening tipoff.
Morningside’s offense understandably revolved around Leslie, and the South Torrance defense could do basically nothing to stop her from doing what she did best.
The star player hit 37 of 56 field goals she attempted over the course of the first half, and while her opponents adopted the “Hack-a-Shaq” strategy to try to shut her down, she also hit 27 of the 35 free throws she was given over the course of 16 minutes where she managed to post a truly staggering 101 points by herself.
As The Athletic notes, Leslie was four points away from breaking the all-time women’s high school record of 105 points, which Cheryl Miller recorded in 1982. However, she was unable to do so because South Torrance (understandably) refused to take the court for the second half, as they forfeited the game that ended with Morningside winning by a score of 102-23 (that’s right; Leslie was responsible for all but one of her team’s points).
Morningside’s coach was (also understandably) suspended for the rest of the season after league officials ruled he’d made a laughing stock of the sportsmanship rules teams in the Southern Section were expected to abide by.
Leslie, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have any regrets, as she acknowledged she was disappointed she didn’t get the chance to break Miller’s record after the contest came to a premature end.
While some people might not be a fan of that attitude when you consider her performance came at the expense of a team that decided to quit instead of subjecting themselves to another torturous half of basketball, it’s safe to say that kind of competitive spirit is what made her one of the best WNBA players of all time.
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