But, second, could her record-setting performance have been handled any more poorly by the adults? South High sources claimed that she had broken Katie Ohm's record on Feb. 17 in a game against Mpls. Roosevelt, but could not provide the evidence to support that claim. A review of published box scores showed that she was, in fact, 103 points short of the record at that time. Some leaped to Hill's support, saying that it was possible that some of the published box scores might be incorrect. But aside from the fact it was theoretically possible for some box scores to be incorrect, there was no actual evidence that any of them were.
A week or so later, the MSHSL ruled that indeed Hill was still short of the record. So she broke it (some would say, again) in the Twin City game against St. Paul Central.
What was really troubling in all of this was the role of the mainstream media. Several prominent media outlets simply reported that Hill had broken the record on Feb. 17. One reporter responded to an email by saying, Well, we're in a tough position here. South High says she broke the record, so that's what we reported. And this was after the records of every game from Hill's illustrious career had been compiled and published in widely available sources.
But, what was worse were the subtle attacks upon those who had the ambition (or the gall, depending on your point of view) to do the media's job for them--that is, to check the facts. Pioneer Press columnist Bob Sansevere (or, rather, his headline writer) wrote, "Just give her the record, already." Sansevere chastised the "historians" (his quotation marks, as if to say "so-called historians") who actually looked up the records for being spoil sports. And he jumped all over the "the published box scores could be wrong" bandwagon. He said, well, what if somebody transposed a 1 and a 2, and a 2 and a 3, or dropped a digit. I've already accounted for 36 points in errors, he said, and that's just three games.
Forget, of course, that he had imagined and invented these errors out of whole cloth. But, c'mon, he seemed to say, she's just a kid. Give her a break. Besides, it's just sports. And it's just high school sports at that. Who cares?
Well, fortunately, some people cared. Kevin Anderson and Matt Peterson, who researched the box scores. The MSHSL, which had the courage to make the call. But no thanks to the mainstream media and to those "sports reporters" whose attitude seems to be that, where sports is concerned, fact-checking is for sissies, and why let the facts get in the way of a good story?