boys basketball

Zion Williamson scores 53 points, sets Chick-fil-A Classic record

COLUMBIA, S.C. ā€“ Two hours before Spartanburg Day (Spartanburg, S.C.) was set to tangle with Gray Collegiate (Columbia, S.C.) Tuesday night at the Chick-fil-A Classic, a line of more than a 1,500 spectators wrapped around Richland Northeast (Columbia, S.C.) eagerly anticipating the matchup between Zion Williamson and Jalek Felton.

By the time Williamson had led the Griffins to the 73-53 win over the War Eagles, he not only won the battle but he’d also set the bar to the unattainable mark for everyone else competing this week.

Williamson, a junior who is ranked No. 3 overall in the ESPN 60, set the tournament’s single-game scoring record with 53 points in the win.

He went 24 of 24 inside the three-point line and 25 of 28 overall.

Tevin Mack, now a sophomore at Texas, held the previous record with 43.

Felton, a North Carolina signee who is ranked No. 27 overall in the ESPN 100, scored 31 points to lead Gray Collegiate.

“I just wanted to come out and get the win,” Williamson said. “It didn’t matter how many points I scored. That’s the only thing I focused on tonight.”

Williamson didn’t waste time dominating, scoring 25 points in the first half on a variety of contest-worthy dunks and short jump shots.

When asked if Tuesday’s efficient showing was his best of the season, Williamson smiled and said, “I guess so. I don’t really even know. I don’t think about things like that. I wanted to come here and get the win. It’s a big win for us.”

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY