Caldwell sophomore Bede Lori set a state mark for free throw percentage
Bede Lori owns the free throw line.
The Caldwell sophomore stepped to the foul line 188 times this season. The result was 180 makes, which equals a shooting percentage of 95.74%. That’s the Ohio High School Athletic Association boys basketball state record, as he topped West Saken Northwestern’s Trever Smith’s mark of 95.3% (81 for 85) set during the 2014-15 season.
This achievement is remarkable no matter how you look it, but when you consider it was accomplished by a sophomore, it’s mind-blowing.
“He’s just a tough kid,” said Caldwell head coach Clint Crane earlier this season. “He works at it. He’s a really good player, great student, great teammate. He deserves any of those honors he gets because he puts in the work.”
At one point this season, Lori connected on 62 straight free throws, flirting with Licking Valley’s Ryan Dierks’ state record of 68 straight. Lori’s streak was snapped on his first attempt during a game at Frontier. He then hit his next four to end the game as Caldwell won 56-37.
After a freshman season where Lori went 178 for 194 (91.75%) from the charity stripe, the Caldwell standout now sits at 93.72% (358 for 382) for his career.
He is already over 1,000 career points, surpassing that milestone during the team’s sectional tournament game.
As a freshman, he averaged 21.5 points (495 for the season), 5.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists to earn third team All-Ohio honors and first team All-East District honors. For an encore, he finished this season averaging 22.2 points (551 for the season), 7.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists. The postseason honors are to be determined, though there figures to be many.
Lori almost certainly will set Caldwell’s all-time scoring mark (1,440 by Jonathan Wiechman) and has a shot to surpass the 2,000-point mark. It’ll be fun to watch how his next two seasons play out and how many more records will fall.
Warren head coach Blane Maddox has been around the block when it comes to high school basketball.
One thing he hasn’t done, however, is coach a game at Southeastern High School in Chillicothe. That’ll change Thursday when the Warriors take on Meadowbrook at 8 p.m. in the Division II regional semifinals.
“I’ve been there many times,” he said. “I’ve watched games there, scouted, but never coached. I like that it’s blue. It’s a very nice gym. They do it right over there. They’ve held tournaments over there for many years.”
The Colts, who defeated Cambridge in the district final, are coached by Lou “Scooter” Tolzda. They are led by Jake and Davis Singleton.
“The Singletons can shoot the 3 real well and they can put it down on the floor, too,” Maddox said. “(Jerome) Todd, (Johna) McCall and (Dylan) Webster are good players. They have a lot of pieces that fit together real nice.”
Warren will counter with a starting lineup of Seth Dennis, Kurt Taylor, Joel Chevalier, Jake Baumgard and Brayden Sallee. Josh Welch, Dennis Pettey and Gavin Ott are the first ones off the bench.
“I think it’s a good matchup,” Maddox said. “They might have a little more size, and outside shooting. If you get them into foul trouble, that would be good for us. We want to make sure to score in the halfcourt. Hopefully we can create some turnovers and get some easy ones. It should be a great game.”
Jordan Holland is an associate sports editor for The Marietta Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.