- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Jan. 16—When the game was over, Saint John boys basketball coach Curtis Turner tossed the game ball in the direction of Vin Narducci.
Narducci had just treated his team and the fans in the stands, many of them alumni, to a 43-point effort in a Heralds recent 85-48 win over Horizon Science.
Rather than take the ball, though, Narducci felt obliged to give it back to the coach.
"I told him to save it for when I set the record," the sophomore said.
The record he was referring to was the school's single-game scoring record.
It currently belongs to 2020 graduate Jacob Altman, who set it his senior year with a game of 44 points.
Narducci fell one point shy.
"He told me before the game 'I'm gonna go for 25 today,'" Turner said of a Narducci's comment made to him before the game started. "Before I knew it, he was sitting at 34."
A sophomore that transferred from Madison to Saint John a year ago, Turner calls Narducci one of the "most versatile athletes" he's ever coached.
That statement is evidenced by the fact he went from being a right tackle on the Heralds football team as a freshman to a quarterback that threw for more than 1,000 yards this past fall.
On the hardcourt, he has the ability to score in a variety of fashions.
"When he sees that teams are coming up on him to take away the outside shot, he has the dribbling ability to get past people and get to the hoop," Turner said. "He has a craftiness to get to the basket and he's strong enough to finish it."
Against Horizon, the Heralds were short-handed as two starters and a key bench player were serving suspensions. But, Narducci was more than making up for their absence.
He shot 12 of 25 from the field, including 9 of 17 from behind the three point arc. The nine triples tied a school record. He made 10 of 14 free shots.
"It felt kind of like a normal game, until about the last three minutes," Narducci said.
That was when Turner told him how close he was to setting the school record.
Even then, though, Turner said he approached the moment just as he would any other.
"I just did everything normal how I usually did, the way I normally would, especially with our starters out," he said.
Turner said there were two aspects that worked against him reaching the record of 44 points.
One was the running clock, something that was not in place until last season.
Narducci also missed a couple of free throws down the final stretch.
"I know he wishes he had those back," Turner said.
Perhaps, but for everyone in attendance that day, Narducci's performance was a setting finale to what had been a great day already.
It started at 8 a.m. with a youth basketball clinic.
That was followed with an alumni game featuring recent graduates such as Artman and other guys that played nearly 40 years ago.
"It was just a great day," Heralds Athletic Director Nick Iarocci said. "No matter what age, no matter who was in there, it was all about basketball, it was everyone's different perspective from 6 years old to 55. It was just a great day and to culminate with Vinnie almost breaking the school record just blew my mind."
For Narducci, breaking the record would have been a thrill and it's something he says he'll probably think about for a while.
At the same time, however, his focus will remain on helping his team more than any individual accomplishment.
"It was great," he said. "I had everyone supporting me, especially all my teammates and coaches supporting me. But, it's kind of something that just happened. Winning is the most important thing."