The Barstow Knights have made three straight appearances in the Missouri Class 3 state championship, a streak propelled by their self-proclaimed “The Big Three.” After two-thirds of the moniker graduated last spring, remaining piece Jacob Gilyard insisted he was ready to carry the load.
He wasn’t kidding.
Gilyard poured in a school-record 50 points Monday in Barstow’s 85-47 rout against Washington.
“I personally didn’t feel like I was ever that hot,” Gilyard said. “I had spurts where I would go for 4, 6, 8 points, but I didn’t think I was just killing it.”
He was wrong, of course.
Barstow coach Billy Thomas instructed Gilyard, a 5-foot-9 point guard, before the game that he would be the key to weaving through the Washington man-to-man press. The role progressed to much more.
After missing his initial two three-pointers, Gilyard found most of his scoring success while driving to the basket. At halftime, a teammate told him he had 31 points.
“After a slow start, too,” Thomas said. “The first three minutes of the game, he was so jacked up that he was taking shots from practically half court. I had to call timeout and tell him to relax. He went back out and just got the ball to the hoop.”
He never cooled off after halftime, though he still made only one three-pointer — the bucket that gave him 50. The previous school record was 45 points.
“An assistant coach told me to come off the screen and hit the three, so that’s what I did. The crowd went crazy,” said Gilyard, who has signed with Richmond. “I just assumed it was a school record or something. I didn’t think I hit 50.
“It wasn’t a bad way to end the night.”