ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - Albuquerque High lost in their Metro Basketball Tournament opener with Eldorado 98-86, but junior guard Jude Tapia had a career high night of 56 points. Bulldog's Head Coach Ron Garcia said he hasn't seen a performance like that in a long time.
"I've seen guys score a lot of points, but what was more amazing about that is we didn't realize that was the clip he was at," said Ron Garcia.
"I kind of didn't realize until about the fourth quarter. I saw 40, so I started checking the stats and ended up with 54," said AHS guard Jude Tapia.
Jude is the first player in the metro area since Bryce Alford in 2013 to score 50 or more points in a single game. Jude wishes his team would have won the game but was excited about his performance.
Only a junior, Jude played well on JV last year for the Bulldogs. He averaged nearly 30 points per game, but playing on JV gave him a chip on his shoulder for this season.
"I put in a lot of work this summer because I kind of felt like I was left out last season because I played varsity my freshman year. So I wanted to prove everyone wrong," said Tapia.
Coach Garcia has seen a lot of talent in his years as a coach, and even though Tapia may be a little undersized at 5-foot-10, he believes that a collegiate career could be possible for him.
"There's been some really good guards out of Albuquerque High. I've been around here a really long time, and he is as good as what has been through here," said Garcia. "He sees a bigger picture, and as a coach, you have to give him the bigger picture, and I think he's got a chance."
Playing at the collegiate level is a goal that Tapia has, and he is doing everything he can to achieve that goal.
"I got to learn how to keep it, all of this, the 54 point game. I got to not settle," said Jude Tapia.
The 1-7 Albuquerque Bulldogs will be back in action on Friday at Sandia High School, playing Rio Grande at 7:30 p.m.