Austin Galuppo was more than 300 miles Tuesday from the mysterious Area 51 military facility, but there were no secrets when it came to the offensive plans for West Ranch’s boys basketball team against Golden Valley.
Galuppo rebounded from a recent shooting slump in historic fashion, setting school and Foothill League records with 51 points, including nine 3-pointers, to lead the visiting Wildcats to a 73-58 victory, forcing a five-way tie for first place.
“After I hit my second 3-pointer, it just felt so good to get my rhythm back. I didn’t care how many points I scored. It wouldn’t have mattered if I made another basket, as long as we’re winning,” said Galuppo, who scored 20 consecutive West Ranch points during a six-minute stretch in the first half.
“It wasn’t just good for me, it was good for our whole team. Everybody was hitting shots. I wanted everyone to score 30.”
Galuppo had 29 points in the first half, lifting the Wildcats (11-9 overall, 3-2 Foothill) to a 39-27 lead. He added 13 points in the third quarter and nine more in the fourth, making two free throws with 2:18 left to eclipse the 50-point barrier before being substituted out to a standing ovation from the West Ranch student section.
“Our team was throwing everything we had at him, but he was making everything,” said Golden Valley junior Colt Cangemi, who had 17 points, including five 3-pointers.
Galuppo, who made 12 of 13 free throws and added 10 rebounds, broke Martin Flowers’ program record of 47 points from 2009 against Eastside. He also surpassed the league record of 48 points by Canyon’s Clay Kasdorf in a 2012 double-overtime win over West Ranch.
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Only Santa Clarita Christian’s Bryce Wilkinson, who scored 53 last year against Frazier Mountain, has more points in a game than Galuppo among Santa Clarita Valley boys basketball players.
“When he starts shooting it and feeling it like he did, he has the confidence to shoot it from wherever and whenever,” said West Ranch coach Shant Bicakci, whose team won its third straight following an 0-2 league start.
“Nobody was mad he was shooting as much as he did because his teammates know he can take over a game and that’s exactly what happened.”
Milan Taylor also had 17 points for Golden Valley (9-12, 3-2). Chris Kodama added nine points and five assists for West Ranch.