It was a record-breaking night for South Wasco County in a 1A Big Sky League boys basketball game against visiting Lyle/Wishram on Tuesday.
Freshman guard Jason Hull scored 54 points, the most ever by a freshman in Oregon, and senior point guard James Best set a state record with 23 assists as the No. 6 Redsides (17-2) rolled to a 99-32 win over Lyle/Wishram (2-12).
The 6-foot-1 Hull shot 25 of 40 from the field, including 2 of 8 from three-point range, and made 2 of 3 free throws. He had 25 points after one quarter, 36 at half and 50 after three quarters. He scored two baskets in the first 30 seconds of the fourth quarter before coming out of the game, which was played with a running clock in the fourth quarter.
The 54 points breaks the state freshman record of 53, set by Lincoln's Salim Stoudamire in 1998.
“He knew. He's up on all the records,” South Wasco County coach Jim Hull said of Jason, his son. “The kid surprises me on a daily basis. The team gets behind him, and that's always beneficial. If you would've asked me a year ago if he was going to do something like this, I would've said, 'Maybe his senior year.'”
Hull is averaging 29.5 points per game. He has scored 561 points this season, putting him in position to break the freshman points record of 682, set by Horizon Christian's Jordan Tebbutt in 2009.
Hull has scored 38, 40 and 54 in his last three games. He is shooting 51.7 percent from the field, 32.6 percent from three-point range (57 for 175) and 82.1 percent on free throws (64 for 78).
“I'm not running things for him,” Jim Hull said. “He gets a lot in the open court. He's able to finish. He has that ability.
“I've never had a player that's put in as much time. Part of that is me helping steer him in that direction. But to have that fortitude and the will to be better, it's kind of a cool thing.”
Best's 23 assists breaks the previous state mark of 21, held by Lebanon's Mike Evans (1986) and Marist Catholic's Malik Morgan (2014). He had 21 assists through three quarters and assisted Hull on the first two baskets of the fourth quarter before coming out of the game.
Best, who had 19 assists in the previous game against Ione/Arlington, is averaging 9.1 assists per game.
“That's something James takes a lot of pride in,” Jim Hull said. “Everybody wants to score, and he's kind of put that on the back burner. He can score. He's capable. He's also the type of player like, 'If someone else can do it, I'm OK with just helping.'”
Jason Hull also broke South Wasco County's school record of 52 points, recorded by Stephen Larlee in Dec. 2009. Jim Hull, who coached Larlee, said he texted him after the game.
“Jason looked up to him,” Jim Hull said.
South Wasco County, which led Lyle/Wishram 87-28 after three quarters, fell short of its school record of 104 points.