IRVINE — Loara High School guard Tes Whitlock broke an 80-year-old Orange County high school record by scoring 68 points Saturday during a 112-102 victory over Saddleback in a consolation game of the Irvine World News Tournament at Christ College Irvine.
Whitlock broke the county's single-game mark of 58 points set in 1910 by Art Worthy of Huntington Beach High. Whitlock's previous best was 54 points against Los Alamitos last year in an Empire League game.
The 6-foot-1 senior made 20 of 31 field-goal attempts, including five three-point shots, and was 23 for 25 at the free-throw line. He also had four dunks, 10 steals and five assists.
"Whatever I wanted to do, I did it," Whitlock said. "It was a back-and-forth game, and they used man coverage the entire game. When the game is that fast paced, there's no one in the county who can deal with me one-on-one."
Whitlock scored 16 points in the first quarter, 24 in the second and 14 in both the third and fourth quarters. He missed only five shot attempts in the first half.
About 30 fans witnessed the greatest single-performance in county history, because the game was played at 10:30 a.m.
"When they said I had 40 points at halftime, I thought I had a shot at the record," Whitlock said. "It was warm, I was comfortable and that was all I needed. I hit four or five threes in a row, and I felt good."
Whitlock's total was the fifth highest in Southern Section history; Nick Tenneriello of Colbert holds the section mark of 74 points set in the 1967-68 season. But Whitlock did not reach the highest section total this season. Mike Fisher of Southwestern Academy in San Marino scored 73 points in a game last week.
"Tes could have gone for 80 points," Loara Coach Ed Prange said. "It wasn't like he was out to set a record. It was a very quiet 68 points.
"I think Tes liked the gym. It was the first time he had played there, and the bigger college court was definitely an advantage. He was incredible. It was the greatest high school performance I've ever seen.
"Tes averages 31 shots a game," Prange said. "The only difference was that they all went in today."
Whitlock acknowledged that the wider college floor played a part in his record-setting performance.
"It was hard for Saddleback to double cover me on the bigger court," he said. "When they tried, I dished to Charlie (Gipson) and he scored." Gipson finished with 28 points.
Whitlock had struggled in recent games at the Tournament of Champions and the Irvine World News Tournament after scoring 49 points in a nonleague victory over Pacifica in the opening week of the season. Whitlock had been shooting 38% in his previous seven games.
"I've been struggling, but I think I found Tes Whitlock this morning," Whitlock said.
Whitlock also found a place in the record book.
ONE-GAME SCORING Top 10 one-game scoring performances in Orange County boys' basketball history:
Pts Player School Year 68 Tes Whitlock Loara 1990 58 Art Worthy Huntington Beach 1910 55 Mark Wulfemeyer Troy 1974 54 Dick Striclin Huntington Beach 1953 Tes Whitlock Loara 1990 53 Tim Gergen Rancho Alamitos 1966 Tom Lewis Mater Dei 1983 Mike Goff Magnolia 1987 Scott Cambell La Quinta 1989 52 Johnny Rogers La Quinta 1981