A record-breaking night of athletics

A record-breaking night occurred for West Henderson athletics as seniors Alec Baynard and Ben Bryson broke two school records on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Baynard broke the record for most wrestling match wins with 163, and Bryson broke the record for most points scored in basketball with 1,821.

Baynard broke his record with a pin in the second round in the 152-pound weight class against North Gaston. It was more than a personal goal for Baynard, as he said the team’s success this year meant the most to him. 

“I knew coming into the season that I had a good chance to set the record, but then being able to break it in the playoffs, help the team secure a win and move onto the quarterfinals really means a lot,” Baynard said.

According to Head Coach Michael Connelly, Baynard’s growth as a leader and work ethic has shown through his success throughout his career.

“A couple of years ago, I would not have thought that he would’ve turned into the leader he is today,” Connelly said. “He’s really turned into the guy we look up to and follow. It’s been awesome to see that transformation. He’s worked very hard for this over the past three years I’ve known him and he’s been a very solid contributor to the team and he absolutely deserves this new record.”

Baynard said he hopes that his own success can set a standard of passion and dedication for future wrestlers at West.

“I hope my record sets an example to the younger generation coming into our school,” Baynard said. “I hope it gives them something to strive for and be better than and to push themselves.”

Bryson broke his record in the basketball game at North Henderson on Tuesday, Feb. 4. The previous record was held by Bryson’s father and former basketball coach, Joey Bryson, at 1,782 points. Bryson needed 18 points to break the record, but scored 39 in the rival game. 

“When I broke the record, I had no idea it happened,” Ben Bryson said. “I looked over at the stands and everyone from West was standing up and clapping. My vision focused right to my dad and he was smiling in a way I hadn’t seen in a long time and it was really heartwarming.”

The game resulted in a win for the Falcons as they beat the Knights 75-74 in overtime. With two seconds remaining in the game, the Knights were up 74-73 and Ben Bryson hit a two-point buzzer beater to secure the close victory.

“I don’t even know how in the world I made that shot,” Bryson said. “It was absolutely crazy and everyone on the team was tackling me and hugging me. The feeling of breaking the record was made so much sweeter knowing it was against North. It was really cool for me too because that’s where I scored my 1,000th point, so now I’ve had two big milestones there.”

Basketball’s senior night will be on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. against A.C. Reynolds at home, and wrestling will travel to North on Friday, Feb. 14 for their regional tournament at North.

By: Stone Hogan, Sports Editor

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