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Miller's mark won't soon be matched

Basketball: Panthers' scorer ended her career with 3,331 points and trailed only Cheryl Miller in the Southern Section.

April 13, 2012|By Andrew J. Campa
(Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

There is a real possibility that no one from the Pasadena Poly girls' basketball program will ever match the entire body of work of graduating senior Michelle Miller.

The 17-year-old, who lives within walking distance of the 378 student-campus, took the program to new heights.

While it's one thing to win, and the Panthers certainly did that with a 92-18 (.836 winning percentage) record during Miller's reign, it's another matter to get a leg up on some of the greatest names in women's basketball history.

En route to scoring 877 points this season and finishing fifth all-time in the state list and 29th nationally, Miller jumped from out of the top 10 to second all-time in the CIF Southern Section scoring ranks, finishing with 3, 331 total career points.

Within this season, she also surpassed such legends as Lisa Leslie (2,896) and Diana Taurasi (3,047) and is now second only to perhaps the greatest women's basketball icon, Cheryl Miller, who scored 3,446 points at Riverside Poly.

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"To be named with Lisa Leslie and Diana Taurasi is awesome," said Michelle Miller, who still blushes when compared to the hoops greats. "They're such amazing players and role models for players like me to look up to."

It is because of those accomplishments during a senior season that capped a scintillating career that Miller has been voted the 2012 All-Area Girls' Basketball Player of the Year by the editors and sports writers of the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader, La Cañada Valley Sun and Pasadena Sun.

Miller averaged a daunting 32.5 points per game in leading the Panthers to a 22-5 mark and a run to the second round of the uber-competitive CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA playoffs. She scored 40 or more points five times this season, including a season-high of 52 points against Flintridge Prep on Jan. 20 and scored 22 points or more in all but one game — she was held to a season-low of 18 against Saugus on Dec. 30, 2011. Perhaps most impressively, she scored 33 in her team's playoff opener against El Segundo, before going out with 36 points against Division IV-AA semifinalist Bellarmine-Jefferson.

Of course, Miller, who shot 49% from the field and 84% from the line, did more than just score, as she filled up the stat line to the tune of averaging 13 rebounds a game, 1.6 assists, 2.1 blocks and 2.2 steals. She had double-doubles in all but five games.

One of Miller's many highlights came Saturday, Jan. 7 at Webb School in Claremont.

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