LEES CREEK — As a child, Wyatt Floyd wasn’t too hard to find.
Just follow the sounds of a bouncing basketball.
“I was thinking back to him playing in the house,” Wyatt’s mother Nikki Floyd said, “Bouncing the ball all around the floor, driving me crazy!
“But he always had a ball in his hands.”
That child became East Clinton’s all-time leading boys basketball scorer Friday night in a 72-39 blowout win over Blanchester.
Floyd entered the night needing just 14 points to tie Mark Woodruff for first on the all-time list. When a three found the bottom of the next with 1:43 left in the first half, the record was his alone.
“It’s crazy, really,” Wyatt said. “I’ve always heard Mark was a great player. I don’t even know. It’s wild.”
“It’s a dream come true. Being in front of this crowd. It was awesome.”
Being in front of the East Clinton faithful was something Floyd didn’t experience when surpassing the 1,000-point mark last season. It was in a tournament game at Princeton High School against Purcell Marian.
After watching his brother Dalton break the 1,000-point barrier at home, Wyatt knew he wanted his chance to make history in Lees Creek.
“Watching my brother do it when I was in eighth grade,” Wyatt said. “I watched him score 1,000 here. That was awesome to me. I’ve always wanted to do it in front of the home crowd. All of my family came here to support me. It’s awesome.”
Floyd made the most of his record-breaking night. He also made a shot from beyond halfcourt to end the first half. He finished with 27 points.
“Think about how many shots he’s taken since he was a little kid,” EC head coach Tony Berlin said. “It’s every kid’s dream … to hit a half-court shot at the buzzer, to hit a three to break the all-time record.
“What a great kid he is. He’s going to do well no matter what he does.”
Youngest of three brothers
Being the youngest of three children isn’t always easy. His mother believed that Cole and Dalton helped prepare Wyatt for his basketball career.
“We saw the potential in him,” Nikki said. “Then he had the two older brothers, and they kind of beat him up a bit. It was great to see his brothers here tonight and his family.”
It wasn’t just the Floyd family who made the trip to see Wyatt’s historic night.
“I just kept seeing people come in that I hadn’t seen in a long time,” Nikki said. “I know they were here to watch that happen. Just look around. Look at all these people. It’s unbelievable.”
For Wyatt’s father Steve, it was special to see his son make history in the gym he called home during his playing days.
“It’s really special,” Steve Floyd said. “Having three boys, and they all played basketball and I played here. Back in the ‘80s, East Clinton was really a basketball school. We did a lot of good things. We always pushed them hard in sports. They worked hard all the time on their game. It’s good to see it pay off.”
History or victory?
On a night when East Clinton was facing a division and county rival, what if Steve had to choose between history and victory?
“Nikki asked me, ‘What if Wyatt gets 12 points and we win, and what if he gets 30 and we lose?’” Steve said. “I said, ‘I want to win the game.’ Beating Blanchester has always been kind of a rival.”
It turns out the Floyds didn’t have to choose.
Wyatt Floyd has one more potential milestone on the horizon. After scoring 26 points Saturday against Cedarville, Floyd now has 1,388 points. Going into Friday’s game against Bethel-Tate, he is 25 points shy of Robbin Luck’s record for most points in East Clinton basketball history.
Before looking to break Woodruff’s record, he had a different milestone in mind.
“Wyatt did set a goal out to beat Dalton,” Nikki said. “That was his goal. Once he beat him, he thought, ‘Oh, I think I can do this!’
“It’s very exciting. I’m very, very proud of him.”
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton