Houston boys’ basketball coach Brent Hall remembers the game Kyle Poynter scored 50 of the Tigers’ 62 points. Poynter tied the single-game school record on a memorable night. But his team lost, and Poynter was most concerned by the numbers on the scoreboard.
“After the game, there were some people wanting to pat him on the back and tell him he did such a good job scoring 50 points,” Hall recalled. “He shut down them pretty quick and said, ‘We lost the game.’ That says a lot for the type of person he was.”
Despite all he accomplished — and the list is a long one for his two-year career — Hall said Poynter was always focused on his team’s success. The individual honors were a mere footnote.
Poynter added a pair of prestigious awards to his final resume last week when he was named second team all-state by the Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. He was also named to the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association all-state team and was previously named the South Central Association player of the year.
A transfer from Lebanon, Poynter was an unprecedented scoring machine for the Tigers. He reached double figures in all but two of his games at Houston, including a 47-point game his junior year and 50 his final season.
A versatile player who was a strong ball handler and perimeter shooter and nearly unstoppable driving to the basket, Poynter led Houston in points (25.4), rebounds (10.5) and blocks (2.3).
The hoops all-state honors completed the sports trifecta for Poynter, who last year received all-state honors in football and basketball.
“He’s definitely if not the best, one of the best scorers to come through here,” Hall said of Poynter’s HHS legacy. “He could score it in a number of ways — post up, take it to the hole, shoot the 3, decent midrange game. He was just an all-around good player.”
Hall said the defining moment of Poynter’s career came at halftime of a game his junior season at the Cabool Holiday Tournament. The coaching staff had challenged Poynter to not settle for perimeter jump shots. Hall and assistant coach Willy Walker told Poynter that he should average at least 10 foul shots per game.
“In the middle of the game, he asks coach Walker, ‘How many times have I been to the foul line? Am I getting close?'” Hall recalled. “He was so competitive. That explained what kind of player he was. He always competed not only against the other team, but against himself to be better.”
He’ll be remembered as one of Houston’s best.