Going with the Flo Harbor's Flo Carey is a reluctant Hall of Famer
By KARL PEARSON Staff Writer
Old-time actor Walter Brennan, in his role on the television show "The Guns of Will Sonnet" said it first, and best: No brag. Just fact. It might as well have been said by Florence Carey. Ashtabula County's all-time single-game scoring leader doesn't brag about the night she scored 52 points for the Harbor Mariners in a 70-2 victory over the Geneva Eagles, but it's a fact. Flo Carey definitely does not brag about her accomplishment, which is fast approaching the 80th anniversary of that night - Feb. 16, 1924. In fact, the 97-year-old, who recently moved from Mentor to LaPorte, Ind., virtually refuses to acknowledge it. But the Ashtabula County Basketball Foundation isn't about to let that achievement be forgotten. When the ACBF holds its first awards banquet April 6 at the Conneaut Human Resources Center, Carey will be one of only three women, and 11 individuals combined, to be inducted into the organization's Hall of Fame. Fittingly, Carey is being inducted along with the woman who for many years was considered the single-game women's scoring champion - Ashtabula graduate Diane Davis Corpening, who had a 50-point game on Feb. 27, 1982 against Warren JFK, 58 years and three days after Carey's feat. But Davis is being recognized more for her 1,934 career points, which easily leads all Ashtabula County males and females. Informed that she is among the initial inductees, Carey, who responded to the call herself in a clear voice, expressed thanks for the honor, but deflected the praise. "That's very nice. Thank you very much," she said. "But give credit to the players of today. They're the ones who deserve the attention. "Give the credit to others," Carey said. "They're the ones who deserve it." The circumstances under which she accomplished her feat are certainly remarkable. In her era, six girls were on the court and were restricted in their movement. Guards were confined to the backcourt, centers in the middle of the floor and forwards exclusively in the frontcourt. Furthermore, the players were limited to one dribble before passing or shooting. Apparently, Harbor coach Lillian Lucas Armour recognized Carey's shooting skills. She moved Carey from her usual center spot to the left forward role and the senior responded by burning the Eagles for 21 field goals and 10 free throws. Unfortunately, society of the time didn't allow Carey to develop those skills further when she headed to Ohio State to earn her undergraduate degree. She later went to Western Reserve University in 1943 to earn her masters in library science. By 1937-38, the Ohio High School Athletic Association had eliminated girls sports and would not reinstate them until 1975, so Carey never even got a chance to share her basketball knowledge through coaching. So Carey had to contribute in other ways. In 1938-39, she taught English and dramatics, then switched to librarian and English teacher from 1939-48, before taking over as the fulltime librarian until her retirement in 1968. Again, she was popular with her fellow faculty members and her students. She served at various times as student council advisor, director of student activities, chairperson of the Faculty Guidance Council, National Honor Society advisor, recording secretary for the Northeastern Ohio Teacher's Association and was a member of the state Reading Circle for three years. In tribute to her, the 1951 edition of The Echo, Edgewood's yearbook was dedicated to her. Yet Carey still refuses to take credit for anything. "I am surprised that record is still standing," she told Star Beacon sports editor Don McCormack when he discovered it. "But that is so far in the past ... I am sure no one cares about something that happened so long ago." Not so, Miss Carey. We leave it to your former classmates to say it best. "Flo can play any position on the team with equal success and she is the lone athlete who will stand out in the memory of fans for many years to come. "Harbor High School can well be proud of the girl athletes that she has turned out into the world and of the athletes that she is turning out at the present time. 1/25/2018 TheACBF.com - Hall of Fame Archives 2/2 "The greatest girl athlete of all time in Ashtabula County was trained at Harbor High - no less a person than Captain 'Flo' Carey."