KETTERING, Ohio – Luke Kennard joked late Saturday night he’d have to practice his free throws early Sunday morning.
Although he missed six free throws in Saturday night’s win over Montrose Christian (Md.), Kennard could certainly make that tongue-in-cheek statement after he set a single-game state record with 34 free throws.
According to the OHSAA website, St. Bernard-Elmwood Place’s Frank Monterosso previously held the state record with 28 free throws in a game against Cincinnati Country Day in 1974. Monterosso was inducted into the Buddy LaRosa’s High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.
In front of more than 4,500 including a standing room line along the upper track around Trent Arena Saturday night, Kennard left a memorable legacy in his final Good Samaritan Flyin’ to the Hoop Invitational.
Kennard also passed Jerry Lucas for No. 10 on the Ohio High School Athletic Association all-time career scoring list. Kennard has 2,462 career points. Lucas was previously No. 10 with 2,460 points.
Kennard seemed genuinely surprised to learn he passed Lucas. The two met for lunch last summer at Applebee’s in Springboro as Kennard listened to the Middletown legend share stories.
“That means a lot,” Kennard said of passing Lucas in the OHSAA record book. “Jerry Lucas is a great guy. He is a great player. He is a great guy to talk to. He has a lot of great stories. Being able to accomplish that is a pretty big thing. But that wouldn’t happen without my teammates. We have a great team – great team chemistry guys, role playing guys. I am excited about that – really blessed to have an opportunity to pass a great like that.”
Kennard, who entered the game at No. 13 on the scoring list, also passed former Xavier player Dante Jackson (Greenfield McClain) in the first half on Saturday on the scoring list. Kennard then passed West Virginia coach Bob Huggins (Bowerston Conotton Valley and Gnadenhutten Indian Valley South) with 4:31 left in the third quarter when he made a free throw on a technical foul situation.
Kennard, a Duke signee, had 47 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in a physical game that left some blood stains on his jersey in the postgame.
What mattered most to Kennard was Franklin defeated Montrose Christian 77-75 as the Wildcats improved to 13-1 and added yet another quality win to their resume. Montrose Christian, ranked No. 29 by USA Today this past week, has a significant national reputation on the high school basketball scene having once been the home of Kevin Durant.
Kennard’s first free throw with 37.1 seconds in the fourth quarter left gave him the No. 10 spot. Kennard is expected to keep climbing the list and is 184 points away from LeBron James at the No. 6 spot.
Read more at cincinnati.com