King of the treys: Talton eclipses Smith’s record as QHS’s career leader in 3-pointers

Talton dunk

Quincy High School senior swingman Jeremiah Talton rises to throw down a one-handed dunk during the third quarter of Friday night's 68-40 victory over Sterling in Western Big 6 Conference action at Blue Devil Gym. Photo courtesy Mathew Kirby

QUINCY — Each milestone Jeremiah Talton reaches and record he breaks serves as incentive for his younger teammates to shoot to surpass him.

It won’t be easy.

One game after becoming the 22nd player in the history of the Quincy High School boys basketball program to score 1,000 career points, the 6-foot-6 swingman reached another milestone Friday night. He made four 3-pointers in the first half of a 68-40 Western Big 6 Conference victory over Sterling at Blue Devil Gym to become the all-time leading 3-point shooter.

Talton eclipsed Jaeden Smith’s record of 147 career treys, finishing the night with five 3-pointers to give him 150 in his career.

Talton was a freshman during the 2018-19 season when Smith made 51 3-pointers to break the record of 127 shared by Kyle Cartmill, a 1995 graduate, and Jacob Jobe, a 2016 graduate.

“He was awesome, hitting threes all over the place,” Talton said.

Talton is doing that now, having made 25 in the Blue Devils’ first seven games and putting him on pace to challenge current QHS coach Andy Douglas’ single-season record of 68 treys set during the 1999-2000 season.

“The fans are being treated to something special in him,” Douglas said after the Blue Devils improved to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the WB6. “A vast majority of them don’t know the work he’s put in to get to this position. He’s done it all. He’s put in the work, and you’re always happy to see when that hard work gets paid off.”

The crop of freshmen and sophomores currently playing varsity and tabulating Talton’s stats better be prepared to work just as hard.

“A lot of the young guys tell him they’re going to break his records,” sophomore point guard Ralph Wires said. “That motivates Jeremiah, and the younger guys play better than, too.”

Talton hasn’t heard any of them say they want to hunt him down, but he encourages them to try.

“Records are meant to be broken,” Talton said. “That would be cool if they did.”

He’s giving them a blueprint for how to be dominant.

Tied at 7 nearly four minutes into the game, Talton buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give the Blue Devils a lead they’d never relinquish. He scored seven straight points in a two-minute span to extend the lead to seven, and he made back-to-back plays in the second quarter to cement the advantage.

First, he hit a 3-pointer from the right corner for a 26-15 lead with 6:15 remaining in the first half, tying Smith’s career record in the process. After a timeout by the Golden Warriors with 5:47 to go, Talton threw down a two-handed, alley-oop dunk off a pass from Wires.

Douglas called the play in the huddle, and the Blue Devils ran it flawlessly.

“Normally, I don’t know if we trust that old play,” Douglas said. “Ralph made a heck of a play. He drove and made their big commit. Jeremiah seemed like he came out of nowhere on it. I think that might be the highest I’ve ever seen him get on a dunk. It added to the momentum.”

It kickstarted a 16-4 run that enabled the Blue Devils to take a 44-23 lead at halftime.

“I was a little nervous coming into the play,” Wires said of the alley-oop. “But it felt great, and it was a good run by our team after that.”

It was an unselfish run. The Blue Devils enjoyed a stretch in which they scored on 9 of 10 possessions and then closed the first half scoring on four straight possessions. Talton had 24 points in the first half, outsourcing Sterling by himself.

“Us point guards and our shooting guards have to do a great job of finding Jeremiah because he’s a knock-down shooter,” Wires said. “He can do it all. It’s great to find Jeremiah, and he had a great game tonight.”

Talton finished with 31 points, taking a breather in the third quarter as he went to the bench with 2:01 to go having outscored Sterling 28-26 at that point. The Blue Devils led 56-26 at the time. Talton added a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter for his third 30-point game of the season.

Bradley Longcor III finished with 17 points as the Blue Devils buried nine 3-pointers.

“Just making the extra pass and the best shot on offense,” Talton said. “We were hitting shots and getting stops and that’s what got us going.”

It had the Blue Devils in tune with each other.

“Our chemistry is starting to build up now,” Wires said. “It’s a lot easier to win when we have that type of energy.”

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