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Boys basketball: Ruberg breaks Two Harbors' career points record

Two Harbors senior Jayden Ruberg drives to the basket against Wrenshall's Chase Duncan (33) during the Agates' 65-47 win. Ruberg had 29 points in the win. (Jamey Malcomb/News-Chronicle)1 / 2
Two Harbors senior Jayden Ruberg checks out a commemorative basketball with his father, Greg Ruberg, after setting the Agate record for career scoring. Greg Ruberg set the old record at Two Harbors nearly 25 years ago. (Jamey Malcomb/News-Chronicle)2 / 2

With his just his second shot of the night Two Harbors senior Jayden Ruberg became the Agates all-time leading scorer, passing his father, Greg Ruberg, for the record during a 65-47 win over Wrenshall Friday, Jan. 18, in Two Harbors.

Jayden pulled up from just behind the 3-point arc and drained the shot, his second from long range, and broke the Two Harbors record of 1,679 career points his father set in 1994. He finished the game with 29 points, his third straight game with at least 29 points and the Agates third straight victory.

"It was off two screens and I was kind of fading away," Jayden said. "It felt good when it left my hand."

Greg was one of his son's first coaches — as well as several other current Agate players — in elementary school. Back then, the pair had a bet that Jayden couldn't beat his father in a game of one-on-one.

"When he was young I told him when he beats me one-on-one I'd pay him a $100 bill," Greg said. "For a fourth- or fifth-grader, he was fun to play every time. Over the summer, he had a pretty regimented routine with some layups and 3-pointers and he always wanted to play every day. As he got older, I would make up excuses about how I was getting older and I couldn't hurt myself."

Things changed when Jayden went to see Anders and Bjorn Broman at Lakeview Christian Academy when the two brothers were dominating area basketball.

"I remember him just staring at the court, focused and studying the game," Greg said. "He heard about how the Bromans put in the time in the gym in the morning and it just turned a switch for him. He put in way more work than I ever did."

Jayden began working on his game with an intensity rarely seen in middle school students, something that continues to this day. He's up at 5:15 a.m. almost every day to hit the weight room or an open gym at Two Harbors, even on days when the Agates have a road game, Greg said.

"I could just see how dominant (the Bromans) were on the court at all times," Jayden said. "That just made me want to be the best that I can be — to put in the work and have no regrets when I'm done playing basketball."

Jayden, the Agates' leading scorer the past three years, this season leads the area with 33.3 points per game. His gaudy stats, however, haven't translated to wins for Two Harbors. The team's three-game win streak — ended by an 86-53 loss to Lakeview Christian on Tuesday, Jan. 22 — was the longest of his career and matched the Agate win total from last season.

"Having a losing record is pushing him to work harder, thinking that if he works harder and the whole team gets better, they could win," Greg said. "He doesn't focus on that record. He has faith in his teammates and talks a lot when they have a good practice. He just wants to play the best game he can along with his teammates."

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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