Jalen Claude sets Mustang records

Everyone thought Jalen Claude had a great game Friday night when he made five 3-pointers and finished with 27 points. But it was mere child’s play compared to what he did Saturday.

Claude, a postgrad on Putnam Science Academy’s Elite basketball team, scored a school-record 47 points aided by making a school-record 12 3-pointers in his team’s 121-112 win over The Newman School.

“During warmups, I hit my first couple of 3s, then I was getting warmed up in my form shooting and I knew it was probably going to be a good game,” Claude said. “Not this good though. Today was different. Every shot was going in, so I was just like, ‘All right, let’s do this. It was just all confidence, really. After the first five went in, I was just going to keep shooting and keep going until I completely start missing. But I just kept making them, so I just kept shooting.”

Claude, in his third season with the Elite team, was incredibly efficient, missing only four shots in the entire game (he went 12-for-15 on 3s and made seven in a row at one point, 4-for-5 on 2s, and 3-for-3 at the foul line). He admitted that a couple of his attempts were more of a “heat check” than anything, but the reality is that none of his shots were forced.

“The most impressive thing to me was how in the flow of the game every shot was,” coach Nick Schmidt said. “He had 47 and his teammates loved playing with him. I think that shows he wasn’t taking bad shots.”

Said teammate Carter Mungin, who dominated play inside and finished with 23 points: “I’m not mad at any shots he takes because I watch him make shots from everywhere every day. When he shoots, I always think it’s going in…every single time. It’s like playing with (Steph) Curry. What he did (Saturday) was insane. I was speechless watching that as a teammate on the court.”

The previous marks were set at the PSA Prep level, with Rundell Mauge scoring 44 in a game in 2008, and Ta’Quan Zimmerman hitting nine 3s back in 2010.

Claude had 21 points in the first half, when he hit five 3s. He then opened the second half by draining four straight from deep, the last of which was an and-1 on which he got fouled and was knocked to the ground. After being helped to his feet by his teammates, a sheepish smile came across Claude’s face as he walked to the foul line.

He made the free throw, then a 2-point field goal, three more 3s, and a pair of foul shots. He had the ball in his hands on the game’s final possession but with PSA holding the insurmountable advantage, he just dribbled out the clock.

“I wanted to shoot it,” he said with a laugh, “but I did the right thing. It’s fine. Forty-seven is pretty good too.”

More to explore