April 18, 2024

In 44 seasons of coaching high school basketball, and with more than 1,000 victories, Mike LeDuc of Damien has had plenty of top shooters. His team is playing in the Southern California Division 1 regional playoffs, so it’s a good time to ask who is on LeDuc’s top-five list as a three-point shooter.

After lots of pleading, with me pointing out his current three-point shooting star, Xavier Clinton, would be on most lists of coaches, LeDuc revealed his top five.

Broadcast partners Josh Lewin and Tracy Murray preparing to call a UCLA game

Broadcast partners Tracy Murray, right, and Josh Lewin prepare to call a UCLA game in 2021. Murray averaged 44 points for Mike LeDuc at Glendora High in 1988-89 and scored a Southern Section record 3,053 points before going on to UCLA and the NBA.

(Ben Bolch / Los Angeles Times)

No. 1 is Tracy Murray. He averaged 44 points for LeDuc at Glendora High in 1988-89 and scored a Southern Section record 3,053 points before going on to UCLA and the NBA. He could make shots from anywhere and would have tried one from half court if LeDuc needed it.

No. 2 is Casey Jacobsen. He scored a record 3,284 points at Glendora from 1996-99 before going on to Stanford and the NBA. He’s 6 feet, 6 inches tall, and his size and skill made him a defensive nightmare in high school.

No. 3 is Josh Giles. Yes, the current Corona Centennial coach was a heck of a shooter at Glendora. Intense, tough and stubborn, he didn’t back down from anyone. In 1996, he made 113 threes.

No. 4 is Adam Jacobsen. The older brother of Casey Jacobsen made 288 three-pointers for Glendora before transferring to Crescenta Valley before making 311 threes in college at Pacific.

No. 5 is Cameron Murray. The younger brother of Tracy Murray scored 2,842 points from 1991-94 at Glendora. Imagine what life was like back in the days when the Murrays were playing games of H-O-R-S-E against each other. There was not enough light left to keep going.

The three-point line came into effect during Tracy Murray’s junior season in 1987-88. LeDuc remembers the Division II state championship game at the Oakland Coliseum Arena in 1989 when Murray was pulling up after one dribble and making threes from beyond the top of the key. He scored 64 points in an 89-83 loss to Menlo Atherton. The points tied the Golden State Warriors’ Rick Barry for most points scored in the arena.

Clinton has kept up the LeDuc scoring tradition. He has 104 threes for Damien this season.

“He’s had a great year,” LeDuc said.

Clinton benefits from Damien’s inside-outside strategy because of 7-footer Nate Garcia. When teams focus on stopping Garcia, Clinton gets the chance to shoot open threes. Let’s see how far Damien goes in the Division I regional playoffs. The Spartans have a home game on Thursday night against Redondo Union.

Nearly 40 years ago, during the 1985-86 basketball season, Jerry Simon was creating buzz at L.A. Marshall High, the school that produced coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs. Simon had a 43-point game against Crenshaw. He scored 69 points against Belmont in a game. He averaged 37.8 points in league play and was the City Section 3A player of the year.

His son, Barak, a 5-foot-10 point guard, led Marina to the Southern Section 2A championship, the first in school history. Only a junior, Barak came through with 19 points on Tuesday night in a regional loss to King/Drew, the City Section Open Division champion. He made five threes.

Simon is a special education teacher at Marina. He went to Pennsylvania and played 11 years of pro basketball in Israel, winning a championship.

He returns every year to the Marshall alumni game and takes Barak with him.

Barak Simon playing basketball

Point guard Barak Simon led Marina to the Southern Section 2A championship, the first in school history.

(Don Leach / Daily Pilot)

Now the question is will the son ever breaking dad’s scoring record.

“He claims he’s going to break it,” Jerry Simon said.

One year to go.

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