Zach Barber used to be afraid to shoot. Now, it's opponents who are afraid when Barber shoots.
The 5-foot-10 junior guard is the leader of Fulton's sharpshooters who have the Steamers sitting pretty at 12-3 coming off a 6-25 campaign.
"I used to be kind of afraid to shoot, but not this year," said Barber, who is averaging 20.7 points per game. "Last year was when I really started shooting. This year, I've picked it up a little bit more."
Barber and 6-5 senior forward Matt Dail are both on pace to shatter Fulton's school record for 3-pointers in a season.
Barber is 51-for-105 (49 percent) from long range, while Dail is 44-for-90 (also 49 percent). Barber is on pace for 95 3-pointers, and Dail 82. The school record is 62.
Barber scored a career-high 37 points and was 7-for-10 from 3-point range in a win over Riverdale last Friday. The seven 3s were one shy of David Read's school record set in 1990.
"I go to the [Clinton, Iowa YWCA]. I go to the park in Albany," Barber said. "I get up shots wherever I can."
"When he gets hot, it frees up everything else," Dail said of Barber. "Teams just start keying on him, then, before you know it, I hit one, Huebner hits one, [Jake Willging's] got a couple buckets down low, and they're down 10 before they know it."
Six-foot-one junior forward Kyle Huebner is the third of Fulton's 3-point amigos. Huebner is 20-for-59 (34 percent) from distance.
"When you have three guys that can stroke the ball like they can, and the rest of the team is unselfish and willing to get them open and get them the ball, good things happen," said first-year Steamers head coach R.J. Coffey, a former Fulton standout. "Our guys have a lot of freedom. I told Matt Dail, 'If you're open a few steps behind the line, knock it down.' Same thing with Zach."
Dail has come a long way in a few short years.
"Freshman year, I got taught how to shoot the correct way, because I was shooting two-handed," said Dail, who is averaging 14.5 points per game.
Now, Dail's a threat from well beyond the arc.
"I've hit a couple from the volleyball line this year," he said.
As a team, the Steamers are 117-for-273 (43 percent) on 3-pointers. They are averaging 7.8 3-pointers per game. Fulton is on pace for 218 3-pointers. Its school record is 153.
They hit a school-record 12 3-pointers in a win over Warren, and twice hit 11 3s.
Dialing long distance
(Fulton's 3-point statistics)
• Team 117-273 (43 percent). On pace for 218 3s. School record is 153.
• Zach Barber 51-105 (49 percent). On pace for 95 3s. School record is 62.
• Matt Dail 44-90 (49 percent). On pace for 82 3s.
• Kyle Huebner 20-59 (34 percent).