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The connection between Shiller, Ferrari is strong
March 06, 2014, 05:00 AM By Nathan Mollat Daily Journal

Note to readers: The Burlingame single-game scoring record reported in this column is incorrect. The is record is 55 points, set by Dan Uharriet in 1995. Uharriet broke Carl Hanson's 1990 record of 51.

In the 2005 Peninsula Athletic League South Division opener, Burlingame’s Drew Shiller lit up Woodside to the tune of 45 points in 72-66 win.

It was a Burlingame record.

Fast forward to Tuesday night and there is now a new record holder for most points in a single game. Burlingame senior point guard Frankie Ferrari went off for 46 points in the Panthers’ 83-69 win over Leigh in a consolation game of the Central Coast Section Open Division.

“I didn’t know he had 46 until I saw [the scorebook],” said Burlingame coach Pete Harames. “I would have guessed he reached 30.”

While many may have been surprised by Ferrari’s explosion, don’t count Shiller among them. Shiller has known the Ferrari family for nearly Frankie’s entire life. Shiller watched him grow as player and it culminated — so far — in Tuesday’s performance.

“I’ve been close with Frankie and his family for years now (having played for Ferrari’s dad’s club team). Frankie and his family would go to a lot of my high school games. … Once Frankie transferred back (to Burlingame from Riordan), we joked all season about if he would break my record,” Shiller said. “The old cliche is, records are meant to be broken. If anyone was going to do it, I’m thrilled it was Frankie.

“He’s been a gym rat his entire life.”

The stats between the two in their signature performances are eerily similar. Ferrari shot 15 for 27 from the field, Shiller was 15 for 23.

“You can brag that I had a better shooting percentage,” Shiller said jokingly.

Shiller finished his game with five assists and five rebounds. Ferrari finished with eight assists and seven rebounds, along with eight steals.

The biggest difference between the two was their 3-point shooting. Shiller scored 27 of his points on 9 of 14 shooting behind the arc. Ferrari hit just four 3s, which means a bulk of his points came from inside the 3-point line.

“It was his array of shots (that was most impressive),” Harames said.

“Honestly, when you get in a zone like that, it’s hard to explain,” Shiller said. “Every time you get the ball and shoot it, you think it’s going in. It really is a surreal feeling. You feel invincible out there.”

Considering Ferrari sprained his ankle in the Panthers’ loss to Riordan in the first round of the Open Division, there was doubt he would even play Tuesday. I guess the ankle responded well to treatment.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve had discussions with people over who is better: Shiller or Ferrari. Shiller is by far the better athlete, but Ferrari might be the better basketball player — something even Shiller is willing to admit.

“The dude knows how to play. He is as smart as anyone on the basketball court. He’s more of a complete scorer than I was. I was probably a little quicker, so I was able to get by on natural quickness. He’s more well rounded,” Shiller said. “He’s as cerebral a player you’ll find.”

***

I’ve long believed high school sport is a metaphor for real life. It’s an opportunity for student-athletes to get a taste of what life can be like when they finish their education and join the “real world.” Their time as high school athletes — and college, if they are good enough — is full of teaching moments that can be applied to their everyday lives.

Unfortunately, over the last several years, there has been an increasing trend of entitlement among the younger generation. Whether it’s parents fighting every battle and perceived slight against their child, or student-athletes thumbing their noses at coaches when they don’t agree with them, many players and parents simply turn to lawsuits and other aggressive tactics to get what they believe is theirs.

There are two recent cases that illustrate this point: the Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland girls’ basketball team and the Curie-Chicago boys’ basketball team. Both teams ran afoul of rules violations and both don’t believe it was fair and are doing everything to change the outcome.

Bishop O’Dowd, a two-time defending state champion, was disqualified from the North Coast Section playoffs because it played too many games. NCS rules state teams can play a maximum of 26 regular-season games. The Dragons played 27, saying they failed to designate one of their games as a scrimmage.

In Chicago, Curie had to forfeit all 24 of its wins for using several academically ineligible players. Curie is one of the highest ranked squads in the nation.

First of all: rules are rules. Break them and suffer the consequences. But that’s not good enough for these schools. They want to be above the rules, which is disturbing. At least NCS did not relent and bow to pressure from O’Dowd, which can’t be said of Curie, which was allowed to play in the state tournament — with seven of nine academically ineligible players allowed to play.

The common refrain is: Why punish kids for the mistake of adults? Why? Because the rules say so, that’s why. Funny, when “normal” students run afoul of school rules, they are called young adults who must learn to deal with the consequences of their actions. But a team violates a rule? Hey, they’re just kids.

I don’t buy that.

The O’Dowd team is petitioning to be included in the Northern California tournament to defend their state title. Hopefully, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), the governing body of high school athletics in the state, uses this opportunity to teach Bishop O’Dowd that if you don’t follow the rules, there are repercussions.

Nathan Mollat can be reached by phone: 344-5200 ext. 117 or by email: nathan@smdailyjournal.com. You follow him on Twitter@CheckkThissOutt.

 

 

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