They call him King of the Hill.
Wheaton Academy sophomore Josh Ruggles claimed that title Saturday at the Three-Point Showdown at the site of the IHSA boys basketball finals, Carver Arena in Peoria.
Ruggles required a shootout from the baselines to defeat Kewanee senior Darren Ince, making six 3-point shots out of 10. Ince, who initially matched Ruggles with 11 3s, sank 4 in the shootout.
It feels good, Ruggles said over the telephone. I didnt shoot the way I wanted to today, but it was enough to get me by.
Playing this season with his brother, senior Brandon Ruggles, the 5-foot-11 sophomore guard made 32 3-point baskets and shot 42 percent from the arc. He is the first DuPage County player to win the Three-Point Showdown since Wheaton Academys Jenn Lee won Queen of the Hill in 2009. Josh Ruggles daily practice sessions include shooting 100 3-point shots.
After surviving a shootout to advance out of the Class 3A IMSA regional then making 12 at the Freeport sectional to join the state-qualifying Class 3A field of 32, in Thursdays preliminary round Ruggles made 13 of 15 tries from the three stations.
He also made 13 in Fridays 3A finals. Ruggles made his first, missed the second then rattled off 12 straight, 1 more than Chatham Glenwoods Craig Fuchs to send Ruggles into Saturdays King of the Hill finals against each class winner.
Theres lot on the line when youre there shooting for King of the Hill.
The Class 4A and 1A champions managed no more than 9 baskets in the final. Ruggles admitted to feeling pressure, but after Inces shootout total he felt more secure.
The pressure went away then, because I knew I could get more than 4 for 10, he said.
Its good to be King of the Hill.
Checking my phone afterwards, my phone was just blowing up, Ruggles said. It took me 10 minutes to scroll through all the texts and tweets and Facebook statuses.