By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Over the years there have been a number of great shooters on area high school boys basketball teams, but when it comes to the 3-point shot 6-2 Elkhart Christian Academy junior Ryan Kupferschmid stands alone when it comes to treys made in a single game.
It didn’t matter where he was on the court, whether he was open or had a hand in his face Kupferschmid put on a shooting clinic with 11 made ‘3s’ in 13 attempts Tuesday night in an 80-59 win over the visiting Bremen Lions.
“Indescribable,” were the first words ECA coach Ryan Culp said.
Michael Moore drilled 10 3-pointers in a game as a senior at Concord when Culp was the coach of the Minutemen.
“I saw both games and Ryan had to work a lot harder for his shots tonight,” Culp said. “It takes a special shooter to hit some of the shots he did and Ryan is a special shooter.
“We never told him during the game he was getting close to the record. I did during time outs tell some players individually that he was near the record and we were going to get him shots. I wanted them to keep playing our game while still getting him the attempts he needed.”
Kupferschmid had two treys in the first period, four in the second, three in the third and two in the fourth, The record-breaker came with 1:34 left in the contest.
“At one point I realized my threes were going in,” Kupferschmid said.
Based on his pregame shooting he was not expecting a record-setting effort.
“I couldn’t make a layup before the game,” he said. “In the game, I just kept shooting.”
Moore was an assistant coach last season at ECA.
“He helped us out a lot last season,” Kupferschmid said. “One of the things he helped us with was our defense.”
Kupferschmid between his 8th and 9th grade seasons attended a shooting camp held by another great shooter to come out of Indiana, one Rick Mount.
“I was just feeling it tonight,” he said. “It’s just a game to me. My dad is probably more excited than I am about the record.”
By the way Kupferschmid poured in a career-high 45 points.
The Lions were the ones that got off to a good start, taking an 8-2 lead by 6:30 of the first quarter. That is when the ECA Eagles started finding their range from long distance. Six-three senior Tyler VanArsdale canned the first trey at 6:32 and 6-1 classmate Jack Walters the second at 4:22 to pull the Eagles to within two points. Kupferschmid’s first tray at 2:22 put ECA up for the first time in the contest at 11-10. Bremen never regained the lead over the rest of the game.
The Eagles went on to hold a 17-10 advantage at the end of the opening period.
Kupferschmid warmed up in the middle two periods. He tossed in 14 points in the second as the Eagles stretched the lead to 46-27 and 15 in the third as the margin ballooned to 65-42.
“One of the best things about this is Ryan is such a great kid,” Culp said. “He has worked so hard on his game. He is the full package since he works as hard in all areas of his life as he does on his basketball.”
The Eagles had an exceptional shooting night as the team was 26-of-40 (65.0 percent) including 16-of-20 (80.0) from beyond the arc.
“We need to carry this momentum over to our upcoming games,” Culp said. “We need to have the mind set to do the things that are important on the court. I was very happy with the way we executed on both ends of the floor.”
Watson chipped in with eight points, Walters and 5-11 junior Kenny Bearss seven for the Eagles.
Caleb Stayton came off the bench to score six points for the Eagles. He isn’t even listed in the program as he just joined the team in recent weeks when Cory Waycaster had to transfer to Jimtown for financial reasons.
“I was talking to Caleb one day and he said he would do whatever he could to help the team,” Culp said. “I asked if that meant he would join the team if asked and he said yes. I talked to the assistant coaches and the captains before he joined the team. He gives us an inside presence.”
Six-four senior Ethan Pike netted 23 points for Bremen.
Elkhart Christian 80, Bremen 59
bremen — Don Browning 1-2 0-0 3, Ethan Pike 8-22 6-6 23, Jacob Box 5-14 1-2 13, Sam Lacher 2-2 0-0 4, Phoenix Ricketts 1-4 0-0 2, Kai Slough 4-10 1-2 12, Dillon Mullen 1-2 0-0 2, Reid Zellmer 0-0 0-0 0. Team: 22-54 8-10 59
ELKHART CHRISTIAN — Ryan Kupferschmid 15-19 4-4 45, Tyler VanArsdale 1-3 2-2 5, Jack Walters 2-3 1-2 7, Kenny Bearss 3-8 1-2 7, Tanner Watson 3-5 0-0 8, Caleb Stayton 2-3 2-4 6, Michael Craft 0-0 0-0 0, Austin Buckles 0-0 0-0 0, Jude Allen 0-0 0-0 0, Steve Weaver 0-0 0-0 0, Jon Anderson 0-0 0-1 0, Josh Kelly 0-0 2-2 2. Team: 26-40 12-19 80
Bremen 10 17 15 17 — 59
ECA 17 29 19 15 — 80
3-point goals: Bremen 7-22 (Slough 3-7, Box 2-5, Browning 1-2, Pike 1-8). ECA 16-20 (Kupferschmid 11-13, Watson 2-2, Walters 2-3, VanArsdale 1-1, Bearss 0-2).
Fouls (fouled out): Bremen 16, (Technical: Browning), ECA 11.
Rebounds: Bremen 16 (Box 4, Browning 3, Slough 3), ECA 26 (VanArsdale 10, Kupferschmid 6, Watson 4).
Assists: Bremen 12 (Box 4, Slough 3). ECA 16 (Bearss 6, Watson 5).
Steals: Bremen 12 (Box 3). ECA 12 (Bearss 6, Kupferschmid 3).
Turnovers: Bremen 15, ECA 20.
Records (next games): Elkhart Christian (9-4) hosts Lakewood Park Saturday. Bremen (8-5) at New Prairie Friday.