Quinton Adlesh did his best to restrain himself, but relented in the end.
“I’d like to say a triple-double is more impressive because it’s a more well-rounded game,” he said, “but 50 points — 50 is pretty good.”
The Mission Prep senior point guard had the best of both worlds in Wednesday night’s historic 86-72 win at St. Joseph, turning in what’s believed to be the third 50-point performance in San Luis Obispo County boys hoops history while also grabbing 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
“Usually when I have a lot of points I have a lot of 3s,” said Adlesh, whose previous career high was 36 against San Luis Obispo High on Dec. 12, 2013, “and I only had five 3s (Wednesday), so I didn’t really have any idea how many points I had.”
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Adlesh said he first realized the half-century mark was within his reach as the Royals pulled away from the Knights in the fourth quarter. He was walking to the foul line and caught the eye of teammate Carter Gran.
“I was trying to tell him what set we were going to run and he just said, ‘Bro, you know you have 45, right?’ ” the 6-foot-1 Columbia commit said. “I just told him to box out.”
Adlesh finished with only five triples compared to 10 2-pointers and a 15-of-19 showing at the free-throw line, converting a high amount of close looks for a sharpshooting guard who primarily does his damage from the perimeter.
“When your shots are falling, everything is easier,” said Adlesh, whose three older brothers played for St. Joseph. “I went through a little spurt at the end of the third where I took some ill-advised shots, but for the most part I wasn’t forcing anything and my teammates trusted me.”
He had 34 points in the second half, including 17 in a third quarter that turned a 38-38 halftime tie into a 10-point lead heading into the fourth.
“He had the hot hand, and sometimes, you let a player do what he does best,” Mission Prep coach Terrance Harris said. “He had some great plays, but he also kept his teammates involved, too, which sounds strange when talking about someone who scored 50, but he had 10 assists.”
Fellow senior guard Brandon Jones finished with 23 points — 10 in the first quarter — and hit four 3-pointers to make St. Joseph think twice whenever it played a box-and-one defense to double-team Adlesh.
“When they went with the box-and-one, that’s when I was shooting the 3s, and that’s when other guys started stepping up and making shots,” Adlesh said. “When they were in (man-to-man defense), I knew I could take my guy off the dribble and get to the rim.”
According to the nationwide sports statistic website LuckyShow.org, which has already updated its archives to include Adlesh’s performance, only two other players in the county can boast 50-point outbursts.
Templeton’s Michael Hattar did it in a 78-68 win over Santa Maria on Dec. 29, 2007, at the Atascadero Christmas Tournament, and Shandon’s Hector Rangel accomplished the feat in a 70-52 victory over Cuyama Valley on Jan. 29, 2013.
“I think it’s mainly a testament to my teammates and my team,” Adlesh said, “but I’m willing to admit that I put in a lot of work, so it’s fulfilling all around.”