Schoharie County

By dropping 60, Olsen joined basketball elite

Middleburgh senior urged on by teammates
Middleburgh senior Peyton Olsen at practice Thursday.
Middleburgh senior Peyton Olsen at practice Thursday.

MIDDLEBURGH — Peyton Olsen remembers the conversation he had with Middleburgh basketball coach Tim Pangman after his 43-point outburst in last season’s opener against Catskill.

“He said maybe sometime if I was heating up, he’d give me a shot at the record,” the Knights’ senior  shooting guard said before Thursday’s practice. “I had one of those nights.”

A week ago Friday Olsen broke the Middleburgh one-game scoring record, then added a bit more with 60 points in the Knights’ season debut against Stamford. His 11 3-point baskets established another school mark, topping the 10 he knocked down in that game with Catskill.

“It was amazing to be a part of that,” Pangman said. “That was the night he was going to do it. Now that it’s out of the way, we can focus on our season and move forward.”

Olsen passed the school record of 55 points Tim Standhart put up against Sharon Springs in 1983. Five other Section II players had netted 60, the last being Shea Irish of Warresburg in 2015. Three others have scored more, led by Section II record-holder Rich Campoli of St. Joseph’s of Albany, with 67 in a 1964 game against Bolton.

“It’s so weird that it happened in our first game, like last year with the 43,” Olsen said.

Olsen, who averaged 20.9 points per game last season, outscored Stamford by himself by 20 points in an 85-40 win as part of the Middleburgh Tip-Off Tournament. Olsen generated 17, 10, 15 and 18 points through the four quarters. His 11 3-point baskets came on 19 attempts. He made his only foul shot to go with 13 other field goals.

“It’s one record I didn’t think he would set,” Pangman said of the 6-foot, 170-point four-year varsity player. “I don’t run up scores. I talked to their coach [Mike Brown] the next day. We talked about it. He was okay.”

Olsen fired away out of Middleburgh’s motion, read-and-react offense after getting the blessing of his teammates. The most points the Western Athletic Conference all-star had scored before was 46 over the summer in a game with his AAU Capital City Scrappers team. 

“I had 27 at the half, and coach asked them [his teammates] if we should go for this,” Olsen said. “I told them, ‘I’ll only go for this if you want me to.'”

“They said they wanted to get him the record,” Pangman said. “The reserves said let him go.

“In the second half we were just feeding him. Stamford didn’t make an adjustment. He [Olsen] was playing defense and as soon as a shot went up, he was gone.”

Sophomore point guard Taylor Olsen assisted on his brother’s final 3-pointer from the wing, with that basket breaking the school record and pushing his points total to 58.

“It was kind of cool that I was the one who hit him with the pass,” Taylor Olsen said.

That’s the way Pangman envisioned it.

“He was getting close and I wanted Taylor in there,” Pangman said. “I wanted him to be a part of it.”

Olsen’s final basket came on a breakaway after a quick Stamford turnover, just after his record-breaking last 3-pointer. Pangman said he pulled his star with about 2:30 left.

“As soon as he hit the three I had the subs up,” Pangman said. “Play didn’t stop. We got a steal and he leads a fast break. “

Olsen followed up his 60-point game with relatively pedestrian 34 Saturday in a 94-78 win against Greenville. Olsen also had 15 assists and was selected the tourney most valuable player.

“Last year after the first game with 43 he followed up with seven,” Pangman said. “After he goes for 60, he was in the gym the next morning at 8 o’clock to shoot.”

“My thought was I can’t have this big game and then drop off,” said the the 17-year-old Olsen, an honors student who also plays soccer and baseball.

Olsen is a more versatile offensive player than the one that spent his freshman season almost exclusively on the perimeter, and last season he became  Middleburgh’s fourth 1,000-point male scorer. He put up a bunch of shots but went scoreless in his final game that freshman season, when the Knights lost a sectional quarterfinal to Hoosic Valley.

“I’ve never seen him so ticked off,” Olsen’s dad, Scott, said. “He was never the same player after that. We talked about adding different aspects to his game, and he worked at it.”

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

Categories: High School Sports, Schenectady County, Sports

Leave a Reply