FORT WAYNE – Bishop Luers junior James Blackmon Jr. broke the SAC tournament single-game scoring record with a career-high 45 points in a 101-87 loss to Snider on Wednesday at Wayne.
An Indiana University recruit, Blackmon Jr. broke current Ohio State junior and ex-Luers standout Deshaun Thomas’ 2008 record of 43 points with a layup with 30 seconds remaining.
I didn’t even know I had the record, Blackmon Jr. said. I just kept attacking and playing hard, and I guess I broke the record.
It is something great, but I felt like I could have done even better.
Blackmon Jr., son of Luers coach James Blackmon, had 40 points in the second half after being held to five points in the first half on 2-of-10 shooting.
We came out too slow in the first half; that’s part of the reason we lost, Blackmon Jr. said. Our intensity just wasn’t there.
Snider, though, won the up-tempo game with depth, putting five players in double figures.
Aaron Washington and Devlyn Williams each had 21 points to lead the Panthers (4-1). Trey’von Covington and Stephen Halstead each had 18 and Leander Williams added 10.
We have a very deep team, Snider coach John Todor said. We think we can go 10 deep, and we have been saying it all year: We have a talented team.
We knew (the Knights) would wear out, and they don’t really have an inside presence. We knew Devlyn would have a big game.
Devlyn Williams, who has gotten some interest from Purdue, added 12 rebounds.
The team came out and just put their hearts out there and gave everything we got, Devlyn Williams said. In the second half, they started looking for me in the post, and that’s where I got my points.
When we play against Luers, it’s always going to be high-scoring and high-paced. (Blackmon Jr.) just got hot. He’s a Division I recruit, and that’s what happens when he gets hot.
Snider advances to play top-seeded Northrop at 6:30 p.m. today in a semifinal game.
The Panthers held a 56-48 lead in the third quarter before going on a 11-2 run to push the margin to 17, at 67-50.
That’s more points than we want to give up, but that’s a tribute to Luers, Todor said. They are a heck of a team, and (Blackmon Jr.) is a heck of a player.
We were up enough points, and we knew they were going to start launching it.
Coming off knee surgery in the offseason, Blackmon Jr. set his previous career-high with 44 points this year and is averaging 39.2 points per game.
He was scoreless in the first, had five points in the second, 12 in the third and 28 in the fourth.
Blackmon Jr.’s younger brother, freshman Vijay, added 19 points for the fourth-seeded Knights (2-3).
He was 15 of 28 from the field, including 6 of 15 on threes, and 8 of 10 from the free-throw line.
Blackmon Jr., Thomas and ex-South Side star John Flowers (42, 1980) are the only players to score at least 40 points in the SAC tournament.
We wanted (Blackmon Jr.) to put the ball on the floor and drive the paint where our big men could contest his shots, Todor said. We were backing off him, and he was just sizing us up and shooting. You have to attack him and make him put the ball on the floor.
The SAC tournament is sponsored by SportONE.