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Reigning 'threes'

Published January 21. 2011 05:00PM

Outside of a slam dunk, it's probably the most exciting shot in basketball.

And technically, it counts more than a jam.

For many, they can remember when it didn't even exist. For those 30 and younger, memories of the sport have always included it.

Of course, we're talking about the three-pointer.

After the ABA (American Basketball Association) popularized the trey, the NBA made it part of their game in the 1979-80 season. In the PIAA, the three-pointer began in the 1987-88 campaign and has been part of its culture ever since.

Over the years at the TIMES NEWS, I have kept the boys basketball stats. Included in those stats are three-pointers. While it's been busy and sometimes tedious work, part of my record-keeping is a list of every trey made by our area boys players.

With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to share some impressive and trivial information on TIMES NEWS area three-pointers.

(Unfortunately, I only have a complete listing of boys three-pointers so most girls statistics won't be included).

Three area high school coaches and two area athletic directors made three-pointers for TN area teams in their careers. The list of boys coaches making threes in the area includes Panther Valley's Pat Crampsie and Northwestern's B.J. Dugan. Pleasant Valley girls mentor Nadia Gauronsky also hit from behind the arc as a member of Panther Valley. The Panthers' AD, and teammate of Gauronsky, Kristin (Blazosky) Black also is on the list, as is Tamaqua's Mike Hromyak.

The most three-pointers in one season by a TN player was Marian's Mike Murphy. In the 1998-99 campaign, the left-handed Murphy hit 97 times for the Colts. Murphy, who now coaches the Tamaqua 9th grade boys team, played in 29 games that season averaging 3.34 treys for contest. He hit a three in 26 of those games. Another Marian player, Eddie McLaughlin, nearly topped Murphy's mark in 2000-01. McLaughlin, however, finished one shy with 96. The sharp-shooter achieved his total in 26 games, an average of 3.69.

The most three-pointers in a career by a TN player was Marian's Eddie McLaughlin. While McLaughlin just missed setting a single-season mark, his amazing career total of 294 may never be broken. McLaughlin had 52, 96, 81 and 65 in his four seasons. To put his total into perspective, a player would have to average 74 treys in four seasons to break his mark. The last time an area boys player had 74 threes in just one season was six years ago. Also, only one other player has reached the 200-mark. That was Weatherly's Ryan Nenstiel, who ended with 213.

Northern Lehigh's Jordan Waylen recently became the latest player to reach 100 career three-pointers. When Waylen hit three treys against Fleetwood last Saturday, he raised his total to exactly 100. He became just the second Bulldog to reach the milestone joining Corey Frantz, who made 111 from 1990-93. There are now 25 TIMES NEWS boys players to have hit 100 treys in their career.

The most three-pointers in a game by a TN player was Jim Thorpe's Brian Balliet. The date was Feb. 2, 1995. Jim Thorpe hosted Williams Valley in a Thursday night non-league game. And little did anyone know what they were about to witness. Balliet hit five treys and scored 21 points in the opening quarter. He added two more bombs in the second frame and three more in the third. He finished with two more in the final period, ending the evening an amazing 12-of-21 from behind the arc and scoring 55 points. In 2006, Weatherly's Jeff Furmanchin came close to hitting a dozen treys but finished with 11.

Tamaqua has the team mark for three-pointers in a single game. While Balliet boasts the individual standard, Tamaqua claimed the team mark. On Dec. 10, 1994 the Raiders connected on 15 three-pointers to help defeat Marian, 87-77. Brian Boyer led the way with five treys while Tom LeMasters added four. Steve Kropp, Chris Ferry and Joe Ligenza each chipped in with two.

Palmerton went almost 10 years hitting a three-pointer in every game. After not hitting a three-pointer in a game on Dec. 21, 1998 at Tamaqua, Palmerton hit four the following night at Northwestern. That game against the Tigers started an amazing string of 246 straight games in which the Bombers hit at least one three-pointer. The long streak didn't come to an end until Dec. 13, 2008 when they failed to hit from beyond the arc against Notre Dame. In those 246 games, only 14 times did Palmerton only have one trey.

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