Will Hobbs Eagle Clay Strasner crack the top 10 in scoring?
Clay Strasner is doing his best to leave his mark not only on the Hobbs basketball team, but also in the history books.
As a sophomore, Strasner started several games, but played mostly off the bench. He scored 211 points that first year. He broke out as a junior, leading the team in scoring with 577 points. While not a top 10 scoring season, the output was still good for 21st most in a season by any Hobbs player.
Now a senior, Stranser has already scored 434 points, giving him 1,222 for his career. That puts him in a tie for 11th place all time with Hollice Clay who played from 1957 to 1960.
With nine more regular season games before the state tournament, Strasner has a chance to cement his name as one of the top scoring players in Hobbs history.
Through 17 games, Strasner is averaging 25 points a game. If he continues scoring at his current rate, he could possibly score another 225 points. While that won’t put him anywhere near him the team’s all time scoring leader, Jeff Taylor Jr. (1,716), he could possibly finish as high as fourth or fifth all time.
With 1,222 points following a win over Gadsden on Friday and a projected 225 over the course of the rest of the regular season, Strasner could go into the state tournament with somewhere around 1,447 points and that would be good for fifth all time in Hobbs history.
The 10 players with more points in front of Strasner go fairly deep into Hobbs’ history. The top five scorers in Hobbs history are Taylor Jr., Richard Robinson, Troy Brewer, Brain Russell, and Rod Hutchings. The next five are Wallace Williams, Jeff Taylor Sr., Tony Benford, Dane Pannell, and Ervin You-mans.
Taylor Jr. holds the single-season scoring record with 858 points in a season as well as the all time scoring record. Taylor played from 2006 through 2008. Robinson scored 1,605 points for Hobbs from 1970 through 1973. Brewer finished with 1,527 points between 1989 and 1992. Russell had 1,482 points between 1993 and 1997 while his teammate, Hutchings, scored 1,412 points from 1993 through 1996.
The scorers in the No. 6 through No. 10 spots are all likely to be passed by Strasner. Williams finished with 1,409 points from 1977 to 1980 while Taylor Sr. scored 1,365 from 1975 to 1978. Benford had 1,352 points from 1979 to 1982 and Pannell chipped in 1,323 from 2010 to 2013. Youmans contributed 1,309 from 2001 through 2004.
Surprisingly, of the top five scorers in Hobbs history, only Taylor Jr. and Robinson won a state championship. Taylor Jr. won one in 2008 while Robinson won his ring in 1970. The back half of the top 10 has two players with two championships and one with one. Williams won a championship in 1980. Benford won titles in 1980 and 1981 while Youmans won titles in 2001 and 2002.
The Eagles have won a state title while Strasner has been in high school, but he was not a part of the varsity team back then. The last time the Eagles won a state title was 2015, when Strasner was just a freshman.
If Strasner can score another 225 points before the regular season ends, that would give him 635 points for the season, about 60-plus more than he scored last year. A season with 635 points would be the 11th highest single season scoring output in Hobbs history.
Will Strasner finish in the top five for Hobbs all time scoring? Will he score the 11th most points in a season for the Eagles. There are no givens in basketball, so only time will tell. But if one thing is for certain, Strasner will do everything he can to give the Hobbs fans something to cheer about.
Jason Farmer is the Sports Editor of the News-Sun. Comments can be made to or by calling 391-5431.