St. Paul's Bare shooting for school scoring record

St. Paul's senior point guard Zach Bare has scholarship offers from Maine, Merrimack and Palm Beach Atlantic.

Not many players outwork Zach Bare.

The St. Paul’s point guard's coach, Seth Goldberg, charted Bare’s off-season workouts and noted that the senior made a staggering 26,000 shots between April and October practicing daily in the school’s gym.

“Zach is a kid you have to chase out of the gym,” Goldberg said. “He works out at a college level.”

 All that work has certainly paid off for the Crusader standout, who ranks among the Baltimore area’s leading prep scorers, averaging 27 points per game while maintaining a pace to become the program's all-time leading scorer.

Although the school doesn’t have definitive scoring records, Goldberg is comfortable giving him that mantle.

After all, Bare has already scored 1,503 points as a four-year starter on the varsity.  

With six games remaining on the schedule — including Friday’s Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference game at home against Archbishop Curley — and possibly two playoffs games, Bare could end his career with close 1,700 points.

“The coolest thing I can tell about Zach is that he cares more about the program and the people around him and his teammates than anything else,” Goldberg said. “I cherish a guy like him because of the leadership he shows and the culture he has created for our younger players. That’s rare for a guy that scores as much as he does.”

And the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Bare can score plenty of points. He’s had six games with 30 or more points already this season.

 He totaled 39 points (including six 3-pointers) in an 85-82 overtime victory over B Conference rival Friends on Feb. 8 and had 37 points (10 3's) in a 72-60 non-league loss to A Conference member John Carroll on Nov. 27.

“Some teams double and triple team him,” Goldberg said. “It’s hard to game plan for a guy like Zach, and we have seen every kind of defense. What is a testament to him is that he doesn’t force shots.”

Bare’s accuracy is a key to his efficiency as a shooter, converting 50 percent of his shots from the field and 43 percent from 3-point range.

“Zach can score 30 a game and he can do that on 16 shots,” Goldberg said. You see these guys that are volume shooters. To score 30, they need 25 or 30 shots.” 

Bare added: “I definitely like to pride myself on being a pretty efficient scorer and not take a lot of shots to score a lot of points.”

Yet Bare’s game is about so much more than shooting and scoring.

After playing shooting guard the past three seasons, Bare moved to point guard this winter with the graduation of Juwan Kearson. 

As the team's main ballhandler, he is averaging four assists and only two turnovers per game.

“I always felt I could play point guard,” Bare said. “It’s something I have always wanted to do. It’s always a lot more fun for me to have the ball in my hands all the time. Point guard is something I know I have to play in college. It’s great to get used to it now.”

Bare, who carries a 3.1 grade point average and wants to major in accounting or finance, says he has received scholarship offers from the Division I University of Maine and Division II Merrimack College and Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Bare, who averaged 22 points, three rebounds and two assists per game as a junior, had official visits to all three schools in the fall.

“To me, it doesn’t matter if its Division I or Division II,” Bare said. “It’s all about a fit at a school. I always looked for a high academic school and school I can come in and help right away. Whether that’s starting or playing a role off the bench. I think at the Division II schools I could come in and play right away.”

Boys’ Latin coach Cliff Rees knew Bare would be a dominant player right away.

“He has a really high basketball I.Q. and deceptive athleticism,” Rees said. “He can handle the ball really well, is quick, fast and has a really quick release on his shot. I think all those things combined make him a really strong player.  You saw in him even as a freshman. He was a kid who would outwork you and (one who is) working to get better all the time.” 

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