East County Sports

Knights’ Salgado reaches 300 three-pointer plateau in win

2015-16 EAST COUNTY PREP BOYS BASKETBALL

 

By James McHugh
© East County Sports.com

SOLANA BEACH  (2-5-16) – LUIS SALGADO joined the 300 club Friday night (Feb. 5). No, Salgado isn’t a bowler with a perfect stroke, but he is a shooter with a nearly perfect one.

 

Salgado landed four shots from the outside in the Knights’ 81-54 drubbing of Santa Fe Christian, allowing Foothills Christian to remain perfect in Coastal League action headed into their Saturday (Feb. 6) showdown with National powerhouse Mater Dei of Santa Ana.

 

Salgado now has 303 three pointers for his career. The number is staggering enough before you look at the accuracy at which Salgado has reached the landmark figure. Salgado has connected on 303 of 631 three point attempts over his four year high school career. That equates to better than 48 percent from beyond the arc.

 

To put Salgado’s numbers in perspective, many players have had excellent seasons shooting from long range. While Salgado now sits atop the three point shots converted chart for the section, he still has nearly 150 less attempts than the next player on the list in order of career three pointers made. Salgado has never had an enormous 10 or 12 shot performance in a single game. Never a game with 20 plus attempts either. Salgado has simply been historically accurate for four consecutive years.

 

When asked if the three point record ever became a focus for Salgado the senior stated just the opposite; “Not really, I knew I was going to break the record so I just let it come. I wasn’t going to change my style of play just to get the record. I got the record because of my style of play so I just stuck with it.”

 

Salgado connected on 60 percent of his three point attempts his sophomore season. He also hit more threes that season than any other (94). Salgado’s versatility and character have led him to be one of the most reliable players in the county. In four seasons now, Salgado has played in, and started, 115 of 116 games for the Knights, missing just one game in his junior season because of the flu. Salgado has eclipsed 1,200 career points and averaged nearly 11 points per game over that span.

 

While often over shadowed because he plays with one of the nation’s top talents in teammate T.J. LEAF, who added another 29 points to his career tally on Friday night, Salgado’s numbers have to be broken down into perspective amongst all high school players. The majority of players do not start on varsity for four years at most schools, and if they do, they rarely start every game for four years. Those that do generally tend to see huge jumps in playing time and production as they grow and age.

 

Salgado has been a consistent force for Foothills Christian for 115 games now, four years of excellent long range shooting and consistent point production at the most accurate pace in section history. Salgado has also been a member of a team which has played perhaps the most grueling schedule over the past four year stretch in the county, so cupcake wins can’t be blamed for his production.

 

On that note, Foothills Christian faces a tough task Saturday night, heading to Mater Dei where visiting teams are notorious for seeing few calls go their way. The Knights however are ranked No. 4 in the state, one spot above the host Monarchs. “We are going in mentally focused because of the type of environment that we are going into” Salgado said of yet another big stage game for the Knights. “We feel good, we had a couple of injuries we needed to take care of but we feel we are healthy now.”

 

Unlike the past few seasons, Foothills Christian hasn’t slipped up much this year. The Knights have closed close games against nationally ranked opponents and the Knights know it’s a special ride, especially considering that their roster is nearly identical to a year ago. “The biggest difference is just knowing this is my last year” Salgado said of the team’s focus in big games. “Every day in practice the coaches always tell us to go hard every single time because it’s our last. That drove me to do better.

 

The Knights face Mater Dei of Santa Ana at 8:45 pm Saturday (Feb. 6), at Mater Dei Catholic High School  in the Nike Extravaganza.

 

Foothills Christian:  T.J. Leaf 29, Omajae Smith 12, Luis Salgado 12, Jordan Starr 10,  Jordan Van Ommering 6, Kale Baldado 4, Connor George 4, Jaren Nafarrete 4.

No other stats were reported.

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