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Harris helping Scott drive toward CL title

02/13/2014, 12:15am EST
By DONALD EMMONS BLADE SPORTS WRITER

THE BLADE


Scott’s Chris Harris dribbles past Rogers’ Fadil Robinson. Harris averages 23.2 points per game and scored 40 last Friday against Woodward.

It’s all coming together for Chris Harris.

The Scott 6-foot senior is playing the game he loves with plenty of passion.

He’s playing with a ton of energy and effort. Most significantly, the “combo guard” is playing about as well as anyone in northwest Ohio.

“He’s in a zone,” Scott coach Chris Dames said. “You can tell when a player is in a zone when the basket looks as big as an ocean.”

Harris, who will lead the Bulldogs into a key City League boys basketball clash Friday with Rogers, is coming off a weekend in which he pumped in a career-high 40 points against Woodward and followed it up with 38 against Start.

His night against the Polar Bears started with him scoring only two points in the first quarter. He did most of his damage during the middle two quarters and saw only two minutes of playing time in the fourth.

He scored 27 against Waite and 35 against Bowsher the week before and averages a CL-leading 23.2 points per game.

“He’s not a ball hog,” Dames said. “He does it within the framework of the system. He waits until the game comes to him.”

The Bulldogs (13-4, 8-1 CL) are riding an eight-game winning streak.

Harris, who has 887 career points, shoots 49 percent (53 for 108) from the field, 45 percent (30 for 67) from 3-point range, and better than 80 percent from the free-throw line.

The effort in the 85-45 rout of the Polar Bears would seem like a night in which Harris would have thought he couldn’t have performed any better, but that’s not the case.

He is certain he could have done more for his team.

“It was OK,” he said. “It didn’t really excite me. It's just points. I wish I would have had 40 assists in the game.

“My guys just got me the ball where they know I like to have the ball and I just tried to make a play, whether it was scoring or dropping it off. I was just finishing a lot more because they weren't giving me the lane to pass it off.”

Dames determined early in the season that less demands would be put on Harris when he was a distributor and ballhandler as point guard. Sophomore Larry Green has been handed those duties.

Harris, who averaged 16.0 points per game last season, was asked to provide more scoring this season.

Dames thought Harris’ ability to shoot would make the team more effective.

“I told him, ‘If you score 40 points, we score 80 points. If you score 30, we score 60,’ ” Dames said.

So far, it’s a game plan that has worked well for Scott.

Harris has certainly done his part during the winning streak.

Dames said Harris has also delivered as a team leader. Harris led the way in convincing many of his teammates to run cross country in the fall to help with conditioning for basketball.

Harris is a two-time All-City League cross country performer.

“He’s just a great kid all-around,” Dames said. “He’s very mature for his age. He’s a workaholic, and he’s an example to the team.

“There’s nothing he has done on the court that he hasn’t worked on or practiced 50 times or more.”

Harris has learned on more than one occasion he should never take for granted playing basketball is a given.

As a sophomore he missed playing after transferring to Whitmer and not receiving clearance to be an eligible player for the Panthers, a team that reached the Division I state championship.

Harris transferred back to Scott prior to his junior season, and he’s been an integral fixture in the Bulldogs’ lineup ever since. However, he suffered a knee injury earlier this season that kept him out of action for two games.

That reminded him of how much he appreciated his chance to play.

“I just try to live in the moment and I try to enjoy every game and every second that I’m out there,” Harris said. “We just try to play as hard as we can.”

The Bulldogs will compete next week as one of four teams in the CL four-team playoffs to decide the champion. It will be Harris’ last chance in high school to win a title.

But he’s confident it will not be his last time competing. He’s receiving interest from college coaches, mostly from Division II and III schools.

Harris said he's even open to playing at a junior college for two years if it’s necessary to remain on the court.

“Either way it goes, I’m going to try and play at the next level and be successful,” he said.

Contact Donald Emmons at: demmons@theblade.com, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.

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Tag(s): High School  Scott  Donald Emmons