Fujii scores 27 in Analy’s win

By HOWARD SENZELL
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

SEBASTOPOL — Max Fujii, probably the most prolific 3-point shooter in Redwood Empire history, added four more to his total Saturday night as Analy defeated Healdsburg, 58-46, in a Sonoma County League game.

Max Fujii, shown going up for a shot against Montgomery on Jan. 8, scored 27 points Saturday night against Healdsburg. Photo by Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat

Fujii finished with 27 points as the Tigers took the lead for good 30 seconds before halftime.
With at least 10 more games to go in his senior season, Fujii has made 238 shots from behind the arc. In high school and college, the line is nearly 20 feet from the basket.

An even more incredible statistic is that the 5-foot-8 guard has converted 46 percent of his shots from long range since joining the varsity as a sophomore.
He has scored 1,460 points for Analy, 718 of those coming on 3-pointers.
If practice makes perfect, it’s no wonder Fujii has gotten so good. He began focusing on perfecting his 3-point shot in the eighth grade.

“I’ve got a court in my backyard, and the 3-point arc is marked,” Fujii said. “In the eighth grade, I began this routine of shooting 250 shots a day from back of the line.
“I’d move all over the court and once I got into a rhythm, I’d pretend I had a defender on me.

Sometimes, I’d fake to my right and then shoot and sometimes I’d fake left and fire. Sometimes, I’d double pump before shooting the jump shot.”
Fujii’s shooting routine, which he still maintains during the off-season, also calls for 200 practice shots inside the arc.

“Most of those are from the free-throw line,” he said. “It’s a two-hour drill.”
Against Healdsburg, he was 7-for-7 from the foul line.
The Analy faithful and coach Brett Page are glad Fujii has such disciplined practice habits.
In Fujii’s less than three full seasons on the varsity, the Tigers are 29-1 in the SCL (their only loss was on Jan.12 at Casa Grande) and 72-14 overall.

“It’s been a pleasure to coach Max,” coach Brett Page said. “We can always count on him. He’s always moving, both on offense and defense. He’s got a great touch, but he never forces a shot. If he’s not open, he’s looking to find a teammate that is.”

Playing their third game of the week and second in 24 hours, the Tigers came out flat while Healdsburg had the intensity.
Peter Nelsen’s basket off an in-bound pass increased the Greyhounds’ lead to 16-13 after one quarter. James Haun’s basket to open the second upped the lead to five.
Analy took the lead for good at 24-23 less than a minute before halftime. That came on a lay-up by Eli Alcantar. The margin grew to three when Alcantar made a steal and fed Fujii, who was fouled going for a lay-up.

Those two baskets started a 19-2 run for Analy. It was 41-25 with 2:15 to go in the third quarter and Healdsburg never got the lead below 10 the rest of the way.
The Greyhounds were feeling pretty good about themselves early, but coach Travis Taylor tried to alert them about what was coming.

“I knew Analy was going to make a run and I told my players, whether we win the game or not will depend on how we respond to their run,” he said. “We didn’t answer, although it wasn’t from lack of effort. We went cold from the field, made some mental mistakes on defense and Analy took advantage of what we gave them.”
Healdsburg is 8-11 overall and is 2-4 in league.

“We’re improving,” Taylor said. “Casa Grande and Analy are the top teams in our league and we were in both games. Now, it’s time for us to start getting some wins.”
Haun led the Greyhounds’ attack with 14 points while Joey Miller added 10.
Fujii’s 27 was one above his average. Alcantar, who was averaging 14, finished with 11. Nathan Molony-Benjamin had 10.