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 Wednesday, March 12, the 71st day of 2014. There are 294 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Soldiers from the barracks on the Arsenal manage to elude the vigilance of the guard nearly every day and come to town armed. In the hands of excited and perhaps intoxicated men, these weapons are dangerous. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Manufacturing's merchants and professional men of Moline were petitioning the Western Union Telegraph company to establish a telegraph office in the business area of the city. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Three Rock Island students, the Misses Eleanor Cleaveland, Dorothy McCabe and Ruth West, escaped injury when fire destroyed College Hall at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War gave a party for William H. Stremmel, the only survivor of John Buford Post 243, GAR. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The East Moline Grade School Board of Education last night granted salary increases totaling about $47,000 to teachers and staff members. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Five champion spellers from the Rock Island/Milan School district were selected after competition this week at Modern Woodmen of America. Winners are Sarah Cottay, Christopher Gilbrich, Jared Vogele, Kedric Roper and Kenny Stevenson.