When Mike Fisher of Southwestern Academy of San Marino scored 73 points in a high school basketball game Dec. 17, it sent Southland high school sports historians to their record books.
Sorry, Mike, one point short.
Nick Tenneriello’s CIF Southern Section single-game scoring record lives, at 74 points. On Feb. 8, 1968, against Brentwood Academy at Rancho Santa Fe High, Tenneriello scored 31 field goals and 12 free throws in a game his team, Colbert Academy, won, 97-67.
Tenneriello was located in Desert Hot Springs, where he lives with his wife, Dolores, does part-time construction work and coaches youth basketball teams in Cathedral City. Tenneriello, 40, says he’s always surprised to learn he’s still the record-holder.
“Every once in a while someone tells me I still hold the record, and it amazes me,” he said. “I never figured it would last this long.”
The record lives, but Tenneriello’s school passed away years ago. What was Colbert Academy, near the corner of La Brea and Melrose in Los Angeles, is now a Jewish Community Center.
In the 1967-68 Southern Section directory, Colbert was shown as having a student body of 50.
“Oh, no--that’s wrong,” Tenneriello said. “We were a much bigger school than that. A couple hundred students, at least.”
Tenneriello recalls that he scored 44 of his 74 points in the second half that afternoon. And he pointed out that his best shot was from the outside, and that there was no three-point shot then.
Fisher scored six of his 73 points on three-pointers.
The record book’s page on single-game scoring records lists some strange games. The record Tenneriello broke, for example, took two days to set.
Vince Mannino of Lasuen, another school that has passed from the scene, scored in a game against Crespi on Feb. 5, 1965 . . . and Feb. 9, 1965. Halftime lasted three days. In the first half, played during a rainstorm at the San Pedro YMCA, a portion of the gym roof gave way at halftime, flooding the place. Lasuen’s halftime lead was 61-5, and Mannino--who later played for USC--had 29 points.
When play resumed three days later, Mannino scored six points in the third quarter and 35 in the fourth. His 70 tied the one-game record set by Tony Dean of Upland Academy in 1963.
Two well-remembered Southland prep stars whose names appear on the one-game Southern Section scoring lists: John Rudometkin of Santa Maria, who scored 60 in 1957, and Steve Patterson of Santa Maria, who scored 59 in 1966. Both were later All-Americans, at USC and UCLA, respectively.
Tenneriello’s Colbert team scored points in bunches. His teammate, Tom Sutro, appears twice on the record book’s one-game page, for scoring 60 against Rancho San Antonio and 59 against Brentwood, both in 1967.
Tenneriello didn’t achieve much in basketball after his Colbert Academy days. He played in the state prep all-star game at the Forum that summer and sprained an ankle. The injury never healed properly.
“I played one year for Dick Stricklin at Golden West College, but the ankle never healed enough where I could get into basketball shape,” he said.
Footnote: Stricklin scored 54 for Huntington Beach High in a 1953 game against Orange. He’s tied for seventh on the list.