BASKETBALL: Brown breaks scoring record

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By Ron Benningfield

Sitting beside her mother as a young girl in elementary school, Ivy Brown watched from the bleachers while star basketball player Tamara Shelton was honored for becoming LaRue County High School’s leading scorer of all time.

“I remember leaning over to my mom and telling her that was going to be my goal,” the 6-1 senior guard/forward recalled. “I’ve worked toward that goal since that day.”

That was back in 2004 when Shelton broke the record set by Scott Boley.

Brown saw that dream realized Jan. 4 when she surpassed Shelton’ 2,422 points in a 46-45 win over DuPont Manual. Brown, averaging 20.4 points and 12.5 boards per game, poured in 11 points and hauled down 15 rebounds in her record-breaking effort.  

“Basketball is something I love so much,” said Brown. “I want to play all the time.”

She related how during the summers she has participated in AAU games, has played any chance she gets including at times matching up in some more physical battles with the guys.

“I think one of the important aspects of the game is a person has to always strive to get physically stronger,” she said. “Taking a weightlifting class here has helped me do that.”

That strength has added the power she needs when she’s battling for a shot or a rebound with opposing players double or triple-teaming her.  

“When two or three are on me, I know there’s got to be someone open, so as I’ve gotten more experienced, I’ve learned to pass instead of shoot.”

Experience has been a dear teacher on the court to Brown, a leading candidate for Kentucky’s Miss Basketball for 2013-14 and a national letter of intent signee with Western Kentucky University.

“Ivy was a sixth man on our team as a seventh grader, and has started every game since she was in the eighth grade,” said her veteran coach Travis Wootton. “She has become the building block of our program.”

Brown averaged 22.9 points, 10 rebounds, five steals and 3.5 assists per outing as a junior, ranking her among the top 10 scorers and top 15 rebounders in the state. 

She also shot better than 50 percent from the field and hit 43 three-point field goals as she was named a First Team All-State performer by the Louisville Courier-Journal and Lexington Herald-Leader. 

Following the season, she was named to the Kentucky Junior All-Star team.

As a sophomore, Brown led the Lady Hawks to a 17-11 record, averaging 19.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. She was named an Honorable Mention All-State selection by the Associated Press following the season.

As a freshman, she helped the Lady Hawks reach the semifinals of the Fifth Region tournament and finish the season 27-4.

Wootton said Brown, like her teammates and the better players from years’ past, have learned and filled their roles on the court with the goal being a team victory.

“She and Alex (Alexis Brewer, junior guard) are a scoring tandem who’ve made a connection that carries us, and at the same time, without their teammates filling their roles, neither would enjoy the success they’re having,” said the coach.

Brown said since she has the most experience on the squad, a role falls to her to be an encourager to her teammates, especially when they might be down.

“The key is to stay focused on the game, and whether in practice or in a game, to get better every day,” she said.

Last year, the 27-6 team advanced to the region tournament semi-finals for the first time in school history before falling to eventual state champions Marion County. 

Although she’s looking forward to playing as a Lady Topper, she insisted she’s not going to “wish my senior year away” and, instead, will focus on every upcoming game as a Lady Hawk with the goal of capturing the regional crown.  

“When the time comes to play at Western, though, I’ll be ready,” she said.