Kahlil Singleton scored 55 in a game for Trappers; Brad Lackey made 11 3-pointers for Titans
VANCOUVER — The holiday basketball tournament period of the season provided memories for hundreds of basketball players from Clark County.
For at least two players, the tournaments showcased record-breaking performances.
Kahlil Singleton of Fort Vancouver made nine 3-pointers and scored a school-record 55 points during a game in his program’s own tournament.
“We were down three. I made a 3-pointer to send us into overtime,” Singleton recalled. “That’s when I thought, ‘I think I have a lot of of points.’”
Yes. Yes he did.
In San Diego, Union’s Brad Lackey had the day of his basketball life, setting school records with 11 3-pointers and 40 points as the Titans remained undefeated.
“Being able to share it with them was the biggest part,” Lackey said, referring to his teammates as they celebrated some 1,100 miles from home.
A few days later, Singleton and Lackey talked about their huge moments.
Singleton scored his team’s 29 first-half points in a Dec. 29 game against Corvallis. Yes, all 29. His coach, James Ensley, said he was not taking all of the shots. It just happened to be an off night for everyone else on the team and Singleton on fire.
By the end of the night, Singleton had made 9 of 13 from 3-point range. Those nine 3s? That’s a school record, too.
“The reason we play is just to have fun out there,” Singleton said. “When everything is going in, it’s just makes the game that much more fun.”
He is much more than just a 3-point specialist, too. He acknowledged that last year he was known just as a spot-up shooter. Now a sophomore, he can drive and get buckets inside, too. He finished his record-breaking night 18 for 34 from the floor (with those nine 3-pointers) plus he went 10 for 11 from the free throw line.
“The crazy thing is I didn’t even feel like he was going off,” Ensley said. “He was just having a good day, I guessed. It was in the fourth quarter, I finally asked, ‘How much does he have?’”
At that point, Singleton was in the 40s.
“Whoa,” Ensley said. “OK.”
Corvallis, though, would get the edge down the stretch and win the game in overtime.
“We put up a good fight,” Singleton said.
Win or lose, 55 points in a game is a headline, a signature moment. Singleton said he has mixed feelings about that.
“To get the attention, to be known for something, that’s kind of cool,” he said. “I’m much more focused about my team and winning games than scoring a lot of points.”
In fact, Fort Vancouver responded after the Corvallis loss with a victory in its next game. The Trappers knocked off previously unbeaten Capital on Friday, the team’s final tuneup before league play begins this week.
“The (3A) Greater St. Helens League is going to be very competitive this year,” Singleton said. “We have a good shot to do it and the pieces to do it.”
The Trappers are hoping to surprise some folks with a solid January and go into February as a playoff contender.
Over at Union, league titles, top seeds, and playoff contention are the norm, the expected. This season, the Titans are 12-0, including wins over California and Utah competition in San Diego and then a victory over the two-time defending state champions from Gonzaga Prep on Saturday.
One of the highlights of the non-league sweep was Lackey’s game in San Diego on Dec. 30.
“Biggest thing for me was doing whatever I can to help the team win,” Lackey said. “We have a ton of guys who can shoot it. I just happened to be hot that game.”
Lackey said he had been in a bit of a slump in the previous games. Then he wasn’t feeling his shot during warm-ups. Then he made his first two shots in the game.
“I didn’t think I was going to have the night that I did, but I felt good in that first quarter,” Lackey said.
The team ended up making 21 3-points in that game, also a school record.
Union coach Blake Conley wasn’t paying attention to who was making the shots early on, he said. He just knew the whole team was doing well. Assistant coaches gave him input, though.
“Brad’s on fire. Let’s keep finding him,” Conley said.
The coach said he was most impressed that Lackey did not force anything. He just shot everything within the offense.
“I haven’t had to score a ton this season,” Lackey said. “I was feeling it that night, and my guys found me. Just shows how selfless the guys are, to sacrifice their points to get me going.”
His 10th 3-pointer broke the record for 3-pointers in a game. His 11th 3-pointer gave him the record for points in a game.
Lackey said it capped a perfect week for the Titans, who also got to visit Disneyland.
His records, though, might not be there for long. He said he has a lot of teammates who could score in the 40s.
In fact, he would love to see Tanner Toolson make 12 3-pointers this year, with Lackey getting 12 assists.