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While Burnsville High School is no longer around, having been one of three school to merge into the new Braxton County High School, it still holds a place in sports history books because of one Danny Heater. Heater played for the school's basketball team, and on January 26, 1960, he sat a record of the most points in a game, 135, that would stand until college player Jack Taylor shot 138 in 2012. He still holds the most points scored by a high school student.


  • Danny Heater 1960
  • Newspaper Picture of Score
     On January 26, 1960, Danny Heater would set a record scoring game of 135 against Widen High School. He made an amazing 53 of 70 shots on the night, along with 29 of 41 free throws. As if the scoring wasn't amazing enough, Heater would also 32 rebounds and 7 assist on the night as well. The final score of the game was a whopping 173-43.
     Despite this historic performance, Heater was hesitant to play this game where he was going to score enough points to break West Virginia's previous all time score by a player of 74 points. His coach and fellow teammates would encourage Heater for days leading up to the game to try and break the record. Now this wasn't to embarrass the other team or any other bad intentions, but rather a very good intention. Jack Stalnaker, Burnsville coach, felt like breaking the record would generate much publicity for the school and its players. By doing so, more scouts would come out and give his players a closer look than would otherwise had been possible. Heather coming from a family of low income wouldn't have been able to go to college without a scholarship of some sorts. This was done mainly in hopes to get the star player on the team a scholarship.
     On the other side of this one-sided basketball game, Robert Stover, the coach of the Widen basketball team, was a little sour about the game after the fact. He didn't want to take anything away from Heater, but felt that the refs weren't calling things against him. At one point, Stover believes they even let the clock run an extra three minutes. One of his remarks against the gym being a 30 by 50 court instead of the new 50 by 50 court would led him to say that Heater was just an average player if put on the 50 by 50 courts. 
     Whether you agree with either coaches' stance on the game, you can't deny the numbers put up by Heater on that night. He would hold the record for the most points scored in a game by one player until Jack Taylor would score 138 in 2012 for his college team. He still holds the record for the most scored in a high school game, and no professional player has ever scored more than Heater either. Unfortunately for Heater, he would sprain his ankle in the next game, which would affect his play a little bit when a WVU scout would watch him play. He never got the chance to go to college and ended up working at a airport at a ticket gate.
"Danny Heater Sets National Scoring Record." Charleston Gazette 27 Jan. 1960: n. pag. Print. Hose, Dan. "Plan For Heater Worked Wanted Publicity For Scholarship." Charleston Daily Mail 28 Jan. 1960: n. pag. Print. Hendrickson, Paul. "Ballad of a Shooting Star; 31 Seasons Ago, Danny Heater Made Basketball History. A Story About Fame ... and Fate." The Washington Post. N.p., 13 Mar. 1991. Web. 30 June 2014.