Posted On: 01/31/17 2:45 PM
Garrett Kesterson was born more than a decade after the movie Hoosiers was released, but if there was a remake, he could make a strong case for the role of Jimmy Chitwood.
Just 20 games into his senior campaign, Kesterson has already buried 71 3s at a 43% clip, including an unofficial school-record last week against Bakersfield in the Sparta Classic when the 6’4 wing canned 11 of his 17 attempts from deep. Kesterson scored 78 points and knocked down 19 triples in three games, grabbing tournament MVP honors and leading Fair Grove to its third consecutive tournament championship.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Kesterson of setting the program’s single-game mark. “Knowing my teammates have a ton of confidence when I shoot. It gives me self confidence knowing that my teammates trust me in taking the majority of the shots.”
All of this comes as Kesterson continues to chase Missouri’s career 3-point mark (355 by Odessa’s Paul Rorvig). He entered this season needing 108 to set a new record. He hit 102 as a junior in 31 games. Should Fair Grove again reach the Class 3 Quarterfinals, he would have 11 games currently remaining in his career. If he made 3.4 3-pointers per game over that 11 game stretch, he would establish a new state record (he is currently making 3.55 a game).
Kesterson has had a career that most high school basketball players only dream of – conference championships, district championships, tournament MVPs and numerous school records.
But despite all the success and individual accolades, there’s something missing…
Fair Grove has won 81 games and counting over the last four seasons, but Kesterson believes his career would be incomplete without a Final Four trip.
“I have thought about it a little,” said Kesterson. “I think getting 2,000 points for my high school career and getting the 3-point record would be huge accomplishments for me, but the one thing that is missing is state. Going to state my final year would complete my high school season.”
Fair Grove is currently 16-4 and while the Eagles are unranked in Class 3, three of their losses came by a combined 13 points to Class 2 No. 1 Hartville (69-64), Class 3 No. 7 Mountain Grove (78-72) and Class 5 Ozark (55-53).
A fourth loss to Class 4 No. 7 Bolivar gave Fair Grove all four of its losses in the month of December. Since then the Eagles have ripped off seven straight wins with an average margin of 25 points per contest, which includes a win over Class 1 No. 2 Walnut Grove.
Kesterson believes that gauntlet of a schedule throughout the month of December is why Fair Grove is playing better basketball recently.
“I do believe that these losses in December have helped us because played elite teams help expose soft spots in our team and where we need to work at,” said Kesterson. “It helps us grow as a team so we don’t make the mistakes that we did in December.”
Several Division 2, NAIA and JUCO programs have expressed interest in Kesterson. Fair Grove Coach Tim Brown believes his ability to shoot the ball and work ethic will make him an immediate asset for the right program.
As of now, Kesterson intends to wait until the end of the season before he makes a decision on his future.