Two points is two points, Clay Christian says, no matter how you score them.
And if there’s a player who knows how to score, it’s the North Thurston High School senior.
Christian has put together one of the most impressive high school basketball resumes in the greater Olympia area during his career — and he’s done it quietly.
“He just plays the game,” North Thurston coach Tim Brown said.
For the second straight season, Christian, a 6-foot-3 forward, is averaging more than 20 points per game. He is on pace to score more than 1,100 points between his junior and senior seasons.
But he does it without any flash.
“He’s a guy that doesn’t get a lot of credit for what he does,” Timberline coach Allen Thomas said. “He’s willing to take whatever the (opponent) gives him, whether it’s a jumper from the outside, or attacking the basket.
“He’s always up for the challenge. He’s like the ultimate threat.”
Christian doesn’t put too much stock into what number shows up next to his name in a box score, but it’s usually a big one.
“My teammates put me in the right spots where I can make easy shots,” he said. “I don’t really pay attention during the game to how many points I score, or how many points Jeremy (Spencer) scores, or anyone else.
“The win is the most important thing, and then having fun with my teammates.”
Spencer, who leads the fifth-ranked Rams with 22 points per game, has a similar outlook.
“I think that’s just how we are,” Spencer said. “We grew up together, and we don’t like talking. We like our game to talk.”
Christian’s game the past two seasons has said plenty.
He has scored in double digits in 45 of his past 46 appearances, dating back to North Thurston’s 2016 season opener.
During that span, he’s scored 30 or more points 11 times. He’s scored 20 or more 31 times.
Christian was one of two locals to pass 600 points last season as a junior, and has 432 through 21 games this season, averaging 20.6 per game.
“He’s probably going to walk out of here with over 1,500 points and over 500 rebounds in a career,” Brown said. “Which is unreal.”
Christian will leave North Thurston as its all-time leading scorer, after eclipsing the program record at Central Kitsap last month.
He scored a solid 20 points that game, but broke the program’s record on his second basket.
“It was the second shot that I made,” he said. “I needed four points. I got a layup, and then I shot a 3-pointer and broke it on that one.
“Aaron (Stone) drove to the basket and kicked it to me in the left corner, and I shot and made it.”
There was no fanfare or announcement over the loudspeaker with the Rams on the road in Silverdale.
Christian quietly acknowledged his accomplishment to himself, got back on defense, and helped North Thurston to a crucial win in their 3A South Sound Conference title bid.
“We’ve had chats since the end of last year’s season, all the way through the summer, all the way through this season about being efficient,” Brown said. “He’s had an incredible season with his scoring.”
Entering the 3A West Central/Southwest bidistrict quarterfinals, Christian has collected 1,434 career points, and a 15.9 points per game career average.
He scores so much because he can score from just about anywhere on the floor.
“You have to come in with some type of plan for him,” Thomas said. “You can’t let him shoot forever, because he’ll torch you from the outside.
“But, you can’t put a post on him, because he can drive around them. He’s a tough matchup, especially in high school basketball.”
Christian recalls thousands of hours of work to perfect his form. He would put up shots in his driveway, and work out at open gyms and during training sessions.
“I always wanted to make sure I shot the right way,” he said.
Even this season, Brown has noticed improvement in his efficiency. Christian is shooting a team-high 57 percent from the floor on 288 attempts.
“He doesn’t need a lot of shots to get the points,” Thomas said. “He doesn’t need a lot of field goal attempts to get hot.”
Christian’s reliable shooting, paired with Spencer’s hot hand, have the Rams (20-1) in position to return to the state regionals for the first time since 2012.
A win Saturday, when the Rams meets Spanaway Lake (16-5) at 5:30 p.m. at Puyallup High School, would guarantee them a trip.
“We look at the playoffs as the real start to our season,” Christian said. “Everything in the regular season is to get to the playoffs.
“We did everything we could as far as seeding. I think we put ourselves in a good spot.”