Jon Diebler walked off the floor at the end of the first quarter of last Friday's game against Tiffin Columbian with a very solid 13 points. For most, that's a terrific quarter, although for Diebler, it's pretty common.
But what even Diebler didn't know at the time was that it was just the beginning of a pretty special evening – even for him.
The Upper Sandusky junior is certainly no stranger to scoring points. He's scored an awful lot of them, in fact.
Heading into Friday, the 6-5 guard had already averaged 35 points a game. He scored 26.3 points a game last season as a sophomore and 23.6 points a game as a freshman for Fostoria.
Against Columbian, Diebler had already eclipsed his freshman and sophomore averages at halftime with 28 points. He was still 7 points short of his junior average.
As the game wore on for the Rams on Friday, however, Upper Sandusky battled back in the second half from a couple of large double-digit deficits. In the process, Diebler began making shots and free throws – and a lot of them.
"I was shooting really well from the foul line and at the end when we got a lead they (Columbian) started fouling," Diebler recalled. "I had confidence in myself to go to the foul line and knock them down."
Columbian was able to force overtime against Upper Sandusky, but in the extra period, Diebler made all but one of his free throws on his way to leading the Rams to a 105-100 victory.
He set an OHSAA record for 27 free throws made in a game – on just 28 attempts. Even more amazing than his 77 points, however, is that Columbian's 6-1 senior guard Josh Moore finished with 52 points in a losing effort.
"Josh would have been the hero if we hadn't won," Diebler said. "Josh is a great player and he played a heck of a game. You have got to give him a lot of credit. Scoring 52 points is amazing."
Indeed 52 points is a rare feat for any high school player, although for Diebler it would have been just another prolific game.
But in addition to his 77 points on 22-of-42 from the field, Diebler added 16 rebounds. It didn't hit him immediately what he did.
"Kind of the next day it hit me what I had accomplished," he said. "But like I said, it really wouldn't have meant anything if we didn't win."
Even during the performance, Diebler said he was unaware of just how many points he was scoring.
"To me it didn't seem like it was 77; it was pretty quiet," he explained. "I was really just focusing on the win and I was glad we won the game."
According to the OHSAA records, 77 points in a single game is the seventh-most in Ohio high school history. The record is 120 points set in 1953.
The game pushed his season average to 39 points for the Ohio State commitment.
Upper Sandusky (5-4) is still in the process of bringing along several younger players. Last year's Division II Championship weighs heavily in the back of Diebler's mind.
Diebler hopes to lead the Rams back to a possible match-up against the Wolverines again this season.
"It would be great to play them," he said. "Dunbar will probably make the state. They have got everybody back and they're a great team."
Against Villa Angela – St. Joseph, Cook had a big performance scoring 41 points of his own.
"I guess he put on a show," Diebler said. "It's expected because Daequan is one of the top players in the country."
To get that rematch with Dunbar, Diebler knows that Upper Sandusky will have to improve a lot from now until the playoffs begin.
The overtime victory against Columbian was a good start.
"It's a big win for us because we were struggling at the beginning of the season and this win put us at 5-4," he concluded. "I think it kind of gave us some confidence too."
Diebler has set the bar so high, the next time he scores 13 points in a quarter, no one will think anything of it.
Unless of course, he pulls a rabbit out of his hat and reels off 80 points. For him, anything is possible.
Diebler Also Reflects on Ohio State Visit This Past Weekend
Bucknuts.com also caught up with Diebler about his trip to Columbus for Sunday's game at Ohio State against Michigan State. He spoke about the game, the visit, the recruits and much more.
About the atmosphere and the game…
"It was unbelievable. It was a great game. It was tough to see Ohio State lose, but they fought hard and they played well. It was an exciting game, Michigan State is a great team, but it was great to see everyone there."
About having so many commitments and recruits at the game at the same time…
"It just shows that everyone wants to stay around and be around Ohio State. It shows the job that Coach (Thad) Matta is doing. It's a family atmosphere, and that's good."
"Everyone pretty much knew, I mean, I knew Dante and Kosta. Everyone pretty much knew everyone there. We weren't really recruiting them much, but everyone was having a good time together and hanging out."
About what everyone did on their visit…
"Everyone kind of showed up at different times and once everyone got there we talked to them a little bit, but everyone enjoyed the game and that's what we like."