Photo by Lindsey Wood
Last week, Caleb Bonny surpassed Delmar McGee’s 60-year-old scoring record.
by Andrew Hatton
CVT Sports Writer
Senior Caleb Bonny made Estill County High School history last week, becoming the all-time leading scorer for Engineer basketball. Bonny broke the record set by Delmar McGee over 60 years ago.
Entering the night, Bonny needed 25 points to tie McGee’s record of 1,943. Estill’s opponent for the game was district foe Owsley County, a solid team that would make Bonny’s attempt to break it that night a challenge.
The senior guard was determined to break the record that night though. The Engineers were at home, so doing it in front of an Estill crowd would make the moment special. Estill wouldn’t return home again until Jan. 5, and breaking the record on the road just wouldn’t be the same.
Making it even more special was the Engineers’ honored guest in attendance for the night; none other than Delmar McGee himself.
First things first though, the Engineers had to take care of business. And they did just that. Estill wasn’t just focused on Bonny getting his, that’s not Coach Jon Bentley’s style. If Caleb was going to do it, it was going to be within the construct of their game.
Although Owsley shot the ball well enough from outside to hang with the Engineers for a few quarters, ultimately, the better team simply flexed their muscles and pulled away. Estill dominated nearly every facet of the game.
This is perhaps an aspect overlooked by many, but not by those close to the program or close to Bonny. In Caleb’s mind, the team always comes first. He values winning and his team’s success over his own, and knows that this record would not be possible without the help of those guys that he shares the court with.
If Caleb was going to break it that night, it was going to be with his team working together to get a hard-earned victory. The Engineers would do just that, defeating Owsley by a score of 84-55.
What helped matters was that Bonny had it going. Estill’s talisman was knocking down everything. He had the hot hand from beyond the arc, but was able to get to the rim as well. The versatile scoring ability that got him to this point was on full display in this game.
The game was buzzing in the second half as Bonny continued to inch closer to the mark. At the scorer’s table, the anticipation grew as he continued to score at a high rate, until it was all but a certainty. The officials had been put on alert and were ready for the moment.
Bonny tied the mark in the fourth quarter and we all knew that breaking it was an inevitability. Caleb knocked down a shot that looked no different than hundreds of shots that he had hit before, and the whistles sounded.
With his 27 points on the night, Caleb Bonny had broken Delmar McGee’s record of 1,943 set during the 1956-57 season. Meeting him at center court to give him the game ball was none other than McGee, himself. It was a truly special moment in the history of Engineer athletics.