Schuck's Clipboard

Beyond the Boxscore: Smith sets 3-point record with perfect assist

Quincy High School senior guard Jaeden Smith set the program record for career 3-pointers Friday night against Webster Groves. Smith has made 128 career 3-pointers, breaking the record of 127 shared by Kyle Cartmill and Jacob Jobe. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 5, 2019 3:55 pm Updated: Jan. 5, 2019 4:30 pm

The set-up, the finish and the record were in perfect sync.

What else would you expect when Jirehl Brock and Jaeden Smith connect?

During Friday night's 56-52 loss at Webster Groves, Smith became the Quincy High School boys basketball team's career leader in 3-point field goals, sinking a trey from the left corner midway through the third quarter that briefly gave the Blue Devils a one-point lead. It was the 128th 3-pointer of Smith's three-year varsity career, moving him Kyle Cartmill (1991-95) and Jacob Jobe (2013-16), who shared the record with 127 made threes.

To fully appreciate Smith's shot, you have to look at how it developed.

The Blue Devils trailed 31-29 when Brock caught a lob pass from Adonte Crider, and as his momentum carried him deep under the basket, Brock whipped a pass to Smith all alone in the corner. His shot was pure as the Blue Devils went up 32-31 with 3:35 to play in the third quarter.

Smith and Brock's career have gone hand-in-hand since bursting onto the varsity scene as sophomores, but their influence on the game has come in different facets.

Smith has seen his scoring average rise from 7.7 points as a sophomore to 11.9 as a junior to 14.7 this season. The charge he drew in the first quarter against the Statesmen was the 30th of his career, more than triple the number of any current varsity player. And his 3-point shooting is now legendary.

Brock's scoring has been consistent throughout his career, averaging 6.6 points as a sophomore, 8.1 as a junior and 8.3 this season. It's defensively where he's made his biggest impact. He had 195 career steals and 25 career blocked shots going into Friday night's game.

No matter how many assists Brock ends his career or how many treys Smith makes, the combination that led to a record-breaking moment Friday night is one the two best friends will cherish.

 

Taking charges once again

Webster Groves coach Jay Blossom couldn't argue the calls. The Statesmen were called for charging four times in the first half, and each one he saw as a legitimate foul.

"Those were real charges," Blossom said.

It comes back to the way the Blue Devils willingly put themselves in position to take a charge and accept the contact and hard foul that comes with it.

"I've never seen a team so good at taking charges," Blossom said.

He saw it happen on three straight possessions of the second quarter. The Blue Devils led 22-14 when freshman forward Jeremiah Talton, playing a baseline wing in the 1-2-2 zone, stepped in to draw a charge three straight times against three different Webster Groves players.

The Blue Devils have drawn 18 charges this season.

 

Throwing down once again

Blossom knew the sort of athleticism Brock brings to the court. His strength continues to wow people, too.

"What a chiseled man-child he is," Blossom said.

Brock put his strength and athleticism on display during the first half spurt in which the Blue Devils surge to a 22-12 lead. His putback dunk put Quincy ahead 7-4, and his steal and one-handed dunk on the second possession of the second quarter gave the Blue Devils a 19-12 lead. The dunk was replayed multiple times by television crews.

"I told him I really look forward to watching him play at Iowa State," Blossom said. "I should have told him to beat Kansas four times."

 

Uncharacteristic struggles

The Blue Devils have been efficient at the free-throw line throughout the season, going into Friday night's game shooting 73 percent from the line. During the four games in the Collinsville Prairie Farms Holiday Classic, the Blue Devils went 43 of 56 from the line, a crisp 76.8 percent. That included Smith going 16 of 16 from the line while earning all-tournament honors.

However, against Webster Groves, the Blue Devils were just 11 of 20 from the line. They went 5 of 7 from the line in the fourth quarter with Smith hitting a pair to run his streak of consecutive free throws made to 22, dating back to a 4-of-4 effort against Washington.