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Fairmont’s Hendricks sizzling with program-record 52 points: ‘I was gunnin’ for it’

Published: Saturday, December 30, 2017 @ 11:22 PM
By: Marc Pendleton - Staff Writer

Ninety seconds into Fairmont’s boys high school basketball game against Indianapolis Washington on Saturday afternoon, Firebirds senior Jack Hendricks already had hit a pair of 3-pointers and accounted for eight of the team’s 10-0 lead. Teammate Cade Morgan shot him a message.

“He looked at me and said you need to try and get the record today,” recalled Hendricks. “From right there, I was gunnin’ for it.”

»NOW YOU KNOW: The video - and multiple video bombs - is of Jack Hendricks after he scored 29 points in a 66-43 defeat of visiting Xenia last season.

Hendricks did just that, going for a program-best 52 points in the 117-64 victory. That surpassed Fairmont’s previous record of 47 points that Andy Metzler tallied in 1997.

Hendricks spent the rest of the day accepting congratulations. “It’s been non-stop all day,” he said. “My phone has been blowing up. It’s been all over Twitter and Snapchat just going crazy.”

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A super-quick 5-foot-11 senior guard, here’s how Hendricks did it:

• He hit 14 of 22 three-pointers; four in the first quarter, three in the second, six in the third and a final 3-pointer in the fourth. According to Ohio High School Athletic Association records, that ties him with Eric Schiele of Atwater Waterloo (2006) for second in state history. J.T. Hoyng of Sparta Highland is the leader with 16 in 1998.

• Hendricks had three 2-point field goals and converted all four free throw attempts.

That ties him with four other area players who also scored 52 points: Robert Patterson of Colonel White (1974), Mike Haley Jr. of Dunbar (1988), Tyler Niekamp of Fort Recovery (2003) and Franklin’s Luke Kennard (2014).

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Coincidentally, Hadley LeVan of Triad scored 51 points in a 77-69 loss to West Jefferson on Dec. 22. Former Miami University men’s coach Charlie Coles is the all-time area record-holder, scoring 65 points for Bryan (Yellow Springs) High School in 1959. That’s two points better than Jerry Lucas of Middletown scored in the late 1950s.

Hendricks’ previous high this season was 29 points against Xenia. Last season he scored 30 against Cardinal Newman and also put 29 on Xenia.

The game started at noon and was the first in the debut of the Pioneer Showcase at Indianapolis Northwest High School. Few were on hand to witness Hendricks’ fireworks.

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“There was no one there,” Fairmont coach Blair Albright said. “These were the sweetest people, but aside from a handful of parents on our end and a couple support staff for the opponent, there was literally no one there. It’s something we’ll always remember, but it’s something that wasn’t experienced by a bunch of people, that’s for sure.”

Among those missing was Hendricks’ dad, John. He kept up with Jack’s hot hand from a friend by phone. “He was, of course, upset because that was the one game he missed,” said Jack.

It also was one of the few times Hendricks hasn’t drawn extra defensive attention. Teams often put their most athletic defender on Hendricks, face-guarding with an intent to deny him the ball.

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“It’s always an advantage for us when we’re playing a team that doesn’t have us well scouted,” Albright said. “Jack can be incredibly dangerous, especially if people don’t realize what he’s capable of. Obviously, when you look at him in warm-ups, you’re not exactly intimidated.”

Hendricks quickly drew Washington out of its zone defense, but it didn’t matter.

“I got a day off of (face-guarding) and I was finally able to get some open shots,” he said. “(Coach) said if you think you’ve been face-guarded before, just wait until after.”

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Wayne defeated Indianapolis Manual 57-51 in the Showcase later Saturday night to push its perfect start to 9-0. Fairmont (6-2) won its fifth straight contest.

Hendricks was grateful to teammates for continually passing on open looks and getting him the ball. He rewarded them with a record-setting show.

“My teammates were going crazy,” he said. “Every time I’d hit a 3, I’d look at the bench and they would go nuts.”

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton