Sports

A WINNING LEGACY

By Dan Arritt     11/8/2018

Santa Margarita didn’t have the football season many envisioned, missing out on the CIF-SS playoffs for the first time since 2015. The girls’ volleyball team qualified for the postseason, but was eliminated in the first round. 

October was somewhat disappointing in the athletic offices at Santa Margarita, but it wasn’t a complete letdown for students, staff and alumni. 

Once again, former Santa Margarita standout Klay Thompson accomplished something no other player has done in the history of the NBA. He made 14 3-pointers in a game against the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 29, breaking the NBA record held by teammate Steph Curry. 

Two days earlier, Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello, another former standout athlete at Santa Margarita, completed 34 of 43 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-38 loss to Washington State. 

Costello became the first Stanford quarterback with three touchdown passes in the first half since Kevin Hogan since 2015. He also became the first Cardinal to complete at least 34 passes in a game since Steve Stenstrom in 1994. 

“They called on me early to get us in a rhythm,” Costello told reporters after the game. “I was grateful for that call.” 

Thompson was also in rhythm early on at United Center in Chicago, which was somewhat surprising considering he had made just 5-of-36 from 3-point range through the first seven games. 

“I just knew I was in for a big night,” he told reporters afterward. 

Thompson made his first four shots inside the arena where Michael Jordan became famous, and had 11 points just 3 1/2 minutes into the game. 

By halftime, he had sank 10 baskets from behind the arc, an NBA record for the most 3s in the opening half. 

Thompson made his 13th 3-pointer with 7:12 left in the third quarter to tie the NBA record and stretch the lead to 108-63. As the lead continued to expand, the need to keep Thompson and the other starters in the game began to lessen. 

Feeling pressure to break the record before coming out, Thompson missed four straight 3-point tries. 

“I might’ve forced a few bad shots, but I was just so anxious,” he said. “Any time there’s an NBA record at stake, you kind of get a little bit nervous.” 

The crowd at United Center knew what was at stake and began to cheer on Thompson’s effort. 

“It’s rare that happens,” Thompson said. “These fans are fans of basketball to appreciate a performance like that. When you just touch the ball, you feel the electricity in the crowd. That’s why I play.” 

Thompson got once last crack at the record, burying a 3-pointer with 4:53 left in the third quarter and then getting substituted out of the game 48 seconds later. 

It was the second NBA record for Thompson, who set the other on Jan. 13, 2015, when he scored 37 points in the third quarter of a win against the Sacramento Kings. 

“That’s what I do this for, for those moments you share with your teammates,” Thompson said. “That’s why we play basketball because it’s a collective effort. I really believe I don’t know if I would have been able to break these records I have gotten in my past just like tonight without the system I play in, the team I’m with or the guys I play with.”  

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