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Turlock’s Ladine breaks single-game scoring record
Jed Ladine
Turlock High senior Jed Ladine is recently averaging 29.4 points a game and on Friday he set the school’s single-game scoring record with 50 points against Gregori in Modesto last Friday night (Journal file photo).

The last time a point guard led the NBA in scoring and assists was 50 years ago, when Nate “Tiny” Archibald did it for the Kansas City-Omaha Kings.

In fact, it was the only time in league history that it’s been done.

That’s how it rare it is for a point guard to be such a lethal scoring threat.

Locally, Turlock High senior Jed Ladine is leading the Bulldogs this season in scoring (21.6 points per game) and assists (3.7 per game). And, to show just what a rare talent he is, he set the school’s single-game scoring record with 50 points against Gregori in Modesto last Friday night.

“It was an incredible performance,” said second-year Turlock coach Nick Nathanson. “I mean, he’s a rock star.”

Nobody at Turlock High is quite sure who held the record prior to Ladine, but officials are virtually certain that nobody in school history ever broke the 50-point plateau before Ladine.

It’s all part of a transformation that’s taken place in Ladine’s game. 

“Earlier in the season, I was kind of trying to find my role on the team, trying to get everyone involved a little bit, feeling it out,” said the 6-foot-1 Ladine. “As the season developed, I found out I was capable of much more than I was putting out on the court. I found that I had the ability to take over games.”

It’s been necessary for Ladine to take over, especially after 6-foot-7 center Gavin Cox suffered an ankle injury on Jan. 13 against Enochs. Cox left in the first quarter of a game that Turlock eventually lost. Only now is Cox — who averages 18.1 points and 15.3 rebounds per game — getting back to full stride.

Since Cox’s injury, Ladine is averaging 29.4 points per game.

“After Gavin got injured in first quarter, I felt like there was more responsibility on me to put the ball in the hoop,” said Ladine. “With Gavin down, there was a little more weight on my back. I feel like I rose to the occasion and, as a result, the team has been successful.”

The Bulldogs are 16-10 overall and 6-2 in league play, two games behind first-place Downey and a game in front of third-place Pitman.

The city rivals meet tonight at Pitman High in a game that has important playoff implications. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.

Ladine scored 23 in the Bulldogs’ 63-37 victory over the Pride on Jan. 20. He knows the 50 puts an even bigger target on his back.

“I know other teams in league saw it and are probably not too happy about it,” said Ladine. “I’m sure they’re going to come at me in the last two games, for sure.”

Turlock closes out regular-season play on Friday when it hosts Downey.

While Ladine’s scoring has increased since Cox’s injury — Cox was the club’s leading scorer at the time he went down — Nathanson said he hasn’t asked Ladine to change his style.

“I think against Gregori, specifically, I said to him, ‘Hey, go to work and get to the basket,’” said Nathanson. “He loves shooting the mid-range jumpers, he loves shooting pull-up threes, but if he’s off or it’s not his night, I try to get him to go the basket, because he’s so successful finishing at the rim.”

Ladine scored 36 in Turlock’s first matchup against Gregori, then had 33 by halftime in the rematch.

“One of my assistant coaches told me and he started laughing because the look on my face was one off utter shock,” said Nathanson. “I knew he had a lot of points, but I thought it was 15 or 20, something around there.”

Ladine put up 42 shots in that game, but made 20 — a respectable 48 percent. Twelve of his 20 attempts were three-pointers and he sank six of those.

“I knew I could be this kind of player,” said Ladine. “I felt it was just a matter of time before it happened. I just had to find that confidence level and that sweet spot, where I’m not forcing it, but still getting my shots and putting points on the board.”
Ladine also knows he’s still a point guard and must get others involved.
“That’s where finding that sweet spot comes into play,” Ladine said. “The first half of the season I was OK with being a point guard and getting everyone involved, seeing what everyone was capable of. As the season went on, I felt like I could combine the two and still have success as a team.”