Akron’s Brady Baer sets state career scoring record in victory over Meeker
PUEBLO — Meeker High School’s boys got an up-close and personal view at how special a basketball player Akron’s Brady Baer is.
The Rams’ 6-foot-2 senior guard ripped the Meeker defense apart to become Colorado’s career scoring leader with a 40-point performance in the quarterfinals of the Class 2A state tournament at Colorado State University-Pueblo’s Massari Arena.
Baer needed only 30 points to break the record, which previously was held by Brian Wood of Buena Vista (1997-2001), but he added 10 more for good measure in Akron’s 81-64 romp over the Cowboys.
Baer now has scored 2,562 points in his high school career with two games remaining.
Akron (24-1) advances to the semifinals against Lutheran in today’s 8:30 p.m. game. The loss drops Meeker (17-7) into the consolation bracket of the tournament where it will play Holyoke in a 10:15 a.m. game today.
“He is everything that everyone said he would be,” Meeker coach Klark Kindler said of Baer’s performance. “He doesn’t need much room to score.”
Kindler also liked Baer’s unselfishness.
“If you have two guys on him, he’s going to find his teammates,” he said.
Indeed, Baer showed his versatility whether driving to hoop for a layup, popping home jumpers from 3-point range, leading the Rams’ fast break, helping with the rebounding chores or even getting a blocked shot in the final quarter.
Baer missed his first four attempts from the field, but once he got untracked the game was over.
Baer’s first points came midway in the first quarter on a driving layup. He came back to drop in a 15-foot jumper, then a drive plus a free throw, and he was on his way to a record afternoon.
It was Baer’s pretty pass that Jared Clarkson laid in for a bucket that gave Akron a 26-point lead, 50-24, two minutes into the second half.
All that was left was the record, and Baer claimed that with 1:55 showing on the clock in the third quarter when he rippled the nets with a 3-pointer from top left side of the key.