Chaney’s 55 points sets school record

By the time the fourth quarter rolled around Saturday night, Allan Chaney knew he must be getting close to a record. Normally when New London’s third-ranked team is humiliating another opponent from the Eastern Connecticut Conference, Coach Craig Parker takes him out before the fourth quarter begins. Saturday night, Parker left Chaney in the game.

“I already had 40 points but Coach told me to stay in and keep on going,” said Chaney, who is part of the University of Florida’s outstanding 2008 basketball recruiting class. Chaney’s previous high was the 36 that he got last year against Griswold. By the time Chaney finished Saturday night he was way past 36. When the final horn sounded, Chaney had poured in a school record 55 points and New London had beaten Plainfield, 103-64 in the quarterfinals of the Eastern Conference Tournament.

Last year as a junior, Chaney was a big guard/small forward type that played on the perimeter and bombed as many three-pointers as mid-range jumpers.

“When I scored 36 that night, I was hitting threes and a bunch of fade-aways,” he said. “Everything I was throwing up there went in, it seemed. The coach took me out at the end of the third quarter, though.”

He also had 33 at the state tournament, another one of those nights when everything was going in but that’s a game he would rather forget.

“We lost that one,” he said. “I had a really good game and it didn’t seem I could miss a shot, but really, when you lose it doesn’t matter what you do individually. I’d rather score two points and win than 33 and lose.”

A growth spurt that has taken him from 6-6 to 6-9 and 225 pounds means fewer opportunities to score on the perimeter, but more opportunities to dunk on the inside.

Saturday night was a dunk-a-thon.

“I took two threes in the game and I missed both of them,” said Chaney, who also had 13 rebounds and six blocked shots in the game. “I missed one when I was trying to get 50 to tie the school record.”

The previous school record was 50 points, held by Rob Sanders who went on to play collegiately at Providence.

Instead of breaking the record on a three, Chaney got it on a dunk. He said he doesn’t know how many dunks there were, just that he got a bunch of them along with quite a few layups and a few mid-range jump shots.

Most of the dunks were the normal one and two-handed variety but there was one that was special.

“I caught it one-hand off the backboard and dunked it back,” he said. “Now that one was really good.”

Scoring 55 points against anyone is a big deal, but Chaney downplayed the record since he was playing against someone four or five inches shorter.

“He was maybe 6-4 or 6-5,” said Chaney. “I mean, 55 is a lot of points to score against anyone but seriously, it’s not like I went against someone my own size.”

Although he’s happy to have the school single game scoring record he would much rather wear a state championship ring. New London is ranked third in the state, needing two more wins in the conference tournament to advance to the state tournament where a showdown with either number one Windsor or number two New Haven Wilbur Cross seems inevitable. Windsor and Wilbur Cross are both unbeaten this year while New London is 20-1.

If all goes well, Chaney’s high school career will be over in six more games and he will have the championship he covets.

“It’s been a good … no, make that a great senior season,” said Chaney, who is averaging 25 points and 15 rebounds per game. “The only thing missing is that championship ring and so I’ve got six more games to play. If we win them all, we’re the state champions and that was our goal this year.”

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Franz Beard
Back in January of 1969, the late, great Jack Hairston, then the sports editor of the Jacksonville Journal, called me on the phone one night and asked me if I wanted to work for him. I said yes. The entire interview took 30 seconds. It's my experience that whenever the interview lasts 30 seconds or less, I get the job. In the 48 years that I've been writing and getting paid for it, I've covered Super Bowls, World Series, NCAA basketball championships, BCS championship games, heavyweight title fights and what seems like thousands of college football, baseball and basketball games. I'm a columnist and special assignments editor for Gator Country once again, writing about the only team that ever mattered to me, the Florida Gators.