It was a Saturday night that had all the makings of something special for Riverdale girls' basketball.
Celebrating their "Pack the Place" night, the Rams gave the assembled crowd something extra special as they witnessed two seniors take their place among the program's all-time greats.
Hannah Nimrick, a forward and four-year varsity starter, and Elle May, a guard and defensive ace, both wrote fitting footnotes to their successful prep careers on Saturday by breaking career records that had stood the test of two decades' worth of time.
Nimrick's game-high 27 points against Three Rivers Conference rival Bureau Valley enabled her to surpass former Riverdale center and University of Iowa hoops great Cathy Marx in career scoring. Needing 25 to equal Marx's total of 1,372 points from 1987-90, Nimrick now stands at 1,374 entering tonight's game at Fulton.
May, who set the Rams' single-season mark for steals last winter with her 158 thefts, added to her resume by topping former guard Micki Diericks' career record in that category. Needing 10 steals to better Diericks' 273 thefts between 1990-93, May hit that number perfectly and now stands at 274.
"I'm so glad I got to share this with Elle," said Nimrick. "She was really supportive the whole game; doing what she could to get me the ball. In turn, we worked hard to apply pressure on defense so she could get the steals. We did play our game, but there was a little more focus on Elle and me."
"The fact we got our records on the same night, that's crazy," said May. "I didn't know how close I was, but I knew I'd get it. It was a goal of mine, and it's exciting to be able to share it with Hannah. Now, I want to exceed it by a lot. I want my name to be up there as long as (Diericks), if not longer."
With both players closing on on their records, some planning went into the evening, trying to ensure that two of the Rams' mainstays could enjoy their moment together and before the home crowd.
"Coach (Mick Kopriva) brought out two new basketballs, and said he was hoping he wouldn't have to put them back away," said May, "which meant Hannah and I would be taking them home after setting our records. So yeah, it was planned."
Likewise, Nimrick (16.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.4 blocks per game) wanted to get the pomp that comes with such an impressive achievement out of the way, so that she, May (12.3 points, 3.9 steals, 3.4 assists) and their teammates can continue to add to what already has been another successful season for the Rams.
"We wanted to get it out of the way so we didn't have to worry about it anymore and just play baskeball the rest of the year," she said. "Plus, we had 'Pack the Place,' which was nice with a ton of fans there, who were all very supportive. Doing this was one of my personal goals at the beginning of my senior year.
"And to beat Cathy Marx, who was such an amazing player, it's a pretty awesome feeling. I hope my record can stand as long as Cathy's did, until maybe 20 years or so from now, another freshman comes along who could get it."
The final touch of the evening, fittingly, came when the game ended and Riverdale had completed a 96-27 win over the Storm to stay hot on Prophetstown's heels in the TRAC-9 girls' race. The 96 points scored — to which May added 20 herself — broke the old mark of 88 set during the 2006-07 season.
"Yeah, they're going to have to do some rearranging on our record boards (outside the Riverdale gym)," said May. "That's going to be exciting. Now, we can focus on conference and regionals — more team-oriented goals."
Today is Saturday, Aug. 30, the 242nd day of 2014. There are 123 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: A large pair of elk, captured in Iowa, were exhibited in Market Square today. 1889 — 125 years ago: The Rock Island Arsenal dam was being constructed under the supervision of Charles Frances, of Lowell, Mass. 1914 — 100 years ago: Mrs. Frank Mixer, of Rock Island, was the winner of the final preliminary for the women's handicap golf cup at Rock Island arsenal links. 1939 — 75 years ago: Sixteen hundred persons — many from war-fearful Europe — arrived in New York aboard the German liner Bremen. For two days on the trip, passengers were cut off from the world with both incoming and outgoing radio messages banned. 1964 — 50 years ago: Police reported five youths have been involved in the theft of about seven cars in recent weeks. Three of the youths were arrested Saturday afternoon, one was in custody as the result of a previous arrest, and the fifth is expected to be arrested today. 1989 — 25 years ago: The Rock Island/Milan School Board is asking the city to tear down Franklin School and allow the school district to pay back the estimated $100,00 cost during 10 years.