Caleb Christenson

January 16, 2019 06:33 PM

Caleb Christenson

(ABC 6 News) – Over the course of the last week, basketball games in Byron have turned into record-breaking performances—Byron senior boys’ guard Caleb Christenson got the streak going on Friday.


Before his senior season, Christenson’s role for the Bears was primarily in a rotation and sixth man role.

“Caleb’s biggest role the last two years was as a defensive stopper,” Byron head coach Kyle Finney said. “His job was to go in and stop the highest scorer on the opposing team.”

This season as a senior, Christenson has expanded—in Finney’s words, he’s been Byron’s “LeBron James.”

“The coaches didn’t really realize he was scoring at that kind of volume,” Finney said.

Entering last Friday’s game against the Triton Cobras, Christenson didn’t change or alter any part of his pregame routine.

“I listened to music, came in, went through warmups hard, got warmed up and ready to play,” Christenson recalled.

Before Friday’s game, Finney said he had a “good feeling” for Christenson.

“He was definitely feeling it, I could see it in warmups,” Finney said. “I told my assistant coaches ‘I think Caleb is feeling tonight,’ he just kind of had a different groove and vibe to him.”

Against the Cobras, Christenson etched his name into school history.

“When you’re hitting shots, it feels like no matter how you’re shooting them or where you’re shooting them, they just keep going in,” Christenson said. “That’s kind of how it almost felt on Friday night.”

On Friday, Christenson scored 42 points (in Finney’s words, a “quiet” 42), which set the Bears’ single-game school scoring record, breaking Matt Storlie’s record of 40 points in a game, which was set in 2004.

“To Caleb’s credit, it was in a variety of ways,” Finney said. “A lot of people just score in threes or twos. He had four three-pointers, ten two-point field goals, and ten free throws. It was a great all-around game for him.”

“To see that quiet of a performance and have him score that many points, it shows how great of an all-around game it was for him. We didn’t try to force the ball to him, everything came within the offense, and he took it. Every coach wants balance, but I’ll take a few 40 point games if it leads to wins.”

Even though it was a historic game, individual performances don’t matter to Christenson—he didn’t even realize he had set a school record until someone told him after the game.

“I think it’s pretty cool and all, but at the same time, a win is a win. It’s only one win,” Christenson said. “It wasn’t just me scoring 42 that won us the game. It was the rest of my teammates, so I think that’s most important is that we got the win.”

Friday’s win against Triton is now in the past, Christenson is already moving forward to the next game.

“I got a few things we need to work on, but it was a good game and it was nice to have a win.”

Christenson’s encore performance is scheduled for Friday, when his Bears team hosts the Goodhue Wildcats.


Sean Tehan

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