Records are made to be broken, but Sharon (Knecht) Burton's single-game mark of 20 rebounds for Shelbyville High School's girls basketball program took 33 years and an outstanding performance by Ella Johnson to be surpassed. Johnson, a senior, grabbed 21 rebounds in the team's recent season opener, a win against Waldron.
Johnson knew she had a good first half, but Assistant Coach Ben Sprinkle, who keeps stats, wouldn't reveal her rebound count at halftime. "He just said to focus on the game," Johnson, who had 14 boards at the break, said.
She had no idea she was chasing the record. Head Coach Rebecca Hoefler later checked the books to confirm the feat.
"It is definitely really cool that I’ve had the opportunity to break the school record," Johnson said. "It was a good surprise and a great way to start off my senior season."
Johnson's achievement netted her a nomination for The Indianapolis Star's Player of the Week and numerous social media accolades. But given the pre-internet days of 1990, Burton, the daughter of Bruce and Edna Knecht, will have to check her mom's scrapbook for game details. "Mom did a great job with that part."
Burton also eclipsed the 1,000-point mark that year, memorable in part thanks to her uncle, Jim Knecht, who kept raising six fingers when she looked at him while the opposing team shot free throws.
"I had no clue what he was trying to tell me, so I was looking for number six on the court and, of course, there wasn’t one," Burton said.
Rather, he was attempting to convey she was just six points shy of 1,000 for her high school career. She and Uncle Jim had "a good laugh after the game," she recalls.
Burton, who graduated with Ella's father in 1990, commended Johnson for setting the new rebound mark, calling her a "hard working and great student-athlete."
Ella is the daughter of Curt and Amy Johnson. Her twin sister, Lilly, is also on the team. Her brother, Jack, graduated last year and is now at Purdue University. Her sister, Molly, is a student at SHS, and her brother, Sam, is a fifth-grader at St. Joseph Catholic School.
"It is early in the season for Ella, so hopefully she keeps pushing and can maybe push that record even higher," Burton said. "She has the ability to do it, so keep working, Ella."
Burton also commended her former classmate, who coached some of his daughters' youth teams. "(Ella) was extremely blessed to have a dad willing to give his time to support her and her teammates over the years."
The Golden Bears (3-1) return to action tonight at home against Southwestern.
BELOW: Sharon (Knecht) Burton set the previous rebounding record as a member of the 1989-90 Golden Bears squad. | Shelbyville High School Squib
Nov. 17: This Day in Shelby County History
2013: Mary Jo Phares received the ATHENA Award at a banquet held at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. Previous award winners Barbara Anderson, Mary Harper, Linda Bacon, Betsy Stephen, Dorine Wolsiefer, Nisa Hensley, Carolyn Moheban and Rose McNeely were on hand to congratulate her. Phares was the first female police officer in Shelbyville, the first female court security officer and had received the Outstanding Recorder Award. In her acceptance speech, Phares talked about her favorite teacher, Gene Sexton, and thanked local police officers for their friendship.
2003: Four new directors were named to the Shelby County Life Long Learning board: Bill Hopkins, Bobbie Kerr, Dr. Larry Moore and Judge Russell Sanders. The board also elected officers - Daniel Hacker, John C. DePrez Jr., Linda Muegge and Elaine Haehl.
1993: Dick Herbert's Shelbyville IGA store held a J.T.M. Cookout to benefit the Mental Health Gift Lift Program through the Shelbyville Kiwanis. On hand for a check presentation were Jane Oldham, Linda Sanders, Richard Hendrickson and Sharri Kendall.
1983: Greg Moore was named McKeand Kiwanis Award winner and Michelle Meal was given the Rotary Swimming Award at Shelbyville's fall sports awards held in Breck Auditorium. SHS coach J.M. McKeand himself presented the award, standing in for golden anniversary winner Ray Lackey, who was unable to attend the program because of illness. Moore was also named one of the football team's honorary co-captains, along with Todd Fox. Kirk Lawrence was named most valuable back, Kirk Nuthak most improved player and Ty Montgomery mental attitude award winner. In girls swimming, Michelle Thomas was named mental attitude award winner and Stacey Barrett was most improved. Coach Al Smith pointed out that Susan Gottlieb was the first ever SHS freshman to win an SCC meet. In cross country, Terry Kuhn was named most valuable runner. Jason Heaton was named most improved runner and Scott Sharp was named mental attitude award winner. In volleyball, Wendy Keplinger was named MVP, Melinda Vogler leading server, Dena Brown mental attitude award winner and Shelly Caplinger was honored as all-SCC. In boys tennis, Keith Waterman was named MVP and Tony Hawkins was named most improved. In girls golf, Dawn Schnaiter was named outstanding golfer and all-SCC and Carmen Fewell was named most improved.
1973: The State Bank of Waldron continued to look for a branch bank site in the Shelbyville area after City Council refused to disannex land at the I-74-S.R. 9 interchange. Bank officials said they would consider building at the northeast corner of Smithland Road-McKay Road intersection instead. Disanexation was required because regulations prohibited branch banks from locating in a city where its main office was not located.
1963: Booker T. Washington Recreation Center, Ted's Tavern and F&M Oil of Finly posted victories on opening night of the City Basketball League. Booker T. Washington defeated Ellerman Construction of St. Paul, Ted's romped over Siebert Oldsmobile; and F&M barely beat Joe Dance Oil of St. Paul. David Johnson-Bey scored 30 and Ray Phillips and Jack McDuffey added 16 and 15, respectively, for Booker T. Dan Thurston and Wilkinson were high scorers for Ted's. McCauley and Bill Markley each scored 18 for Siebert's. Jerry Bass and Harry Watson led F&M.
1953: Five foreign exchange students enrolled at Hoosier colleges toured Shelbyville, including a visit to The Shelbyville News. Wilbur F. Pell Jr., John C. DePrez, Don Wickizer Sr., Eden Thurston and Dwight Brinson sponsored the event through the Rotary Club.
1943: Three Shelby County men were drafted by the Navy: Ernest Clayton, Dorsey Ensminger and John Hirschauer. They were granted seven-day foloughs before beginning service. Norman Thurston, head of the Citizens Committee, gave each a fountain pen as a parting gift.
1933: A new anthology of American poetry included the works of two Shelbyville poets, Loren Phillips and Walter S. Fort (principal of Booker T. Washington school). Both poets had been published previously in local newspapers.
1923: Four young boys were arrested for the thefts of money from empty milk bottles left on porches over a period of several weeks. The boys were Harry Brokering, 9, Francis Brokering, 12, Theodore Lee, 11, and Leonard Griffith, 10. Each of the boys confessed to the thefts and admitted the funds were used for "candy, knickknacks and shows," The Republican reported. The boys admitted that they typically stole the money at night, while on the way home from downtown movie shows.