made history this week by scoring 1,000 points in her junior
high basketball career. She presented the ball to her
grandfather, Dick Hayes of Mount Pulaski.
Girls basketball: Mount Pulaski Grade
School win over Chester-East Lincoln continues perfect season
Hayes sets 1,000 point record
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[October 27, 2014]
MOUNT PULASKI - The Mount Pulaski Grade
School girls basketball team continued their perfect season as Skylar
Hayes was honored for scoring her 1,000th point on Thursday evening.
Mount Pulaski Grade School Honeybears cruised to a 47-10 victory
over Chester-East Lincoln. The Honeybears have a perfect 12-0 record
on the season.
Skylar Hayes started the scoring for the Honeybears with an
impressive reverse layup on an inbounds pass just less than a minute
into the game. A free throw by Abigail Fitzpatrick, another layup by
Hayes and a soft jumper from the corner by Madison Thomas would put
the Honeybears up quickly 7-0.
Chester-East would answer with buckets from Makenzie Antoine and
Molly Sawicki to cut the lead to 7-4.
It would not take long for Hayes to score a couple more layups, one
on a very nice pass from Fitzpatrick. Ainsley Chandler finished the
scoring in the first quarter with a couple free throws and a 13-4
Mount Pulaski lead.
The Honeybears came out in the second quarter every bit as
impressive as the first. Hayes quickly started the scoring with a
layup and followed up the next possession with a nice pass under the
basket to Fitzpatrick who scored the easy bucket. Fitzpatrick showed
some of her own basketball finesse on the next play with a spin
around jumper for two and the “and one” as she was fouled on the
shot. Chandler followed the next possession with a nice two from the
paint, meanwhile Chester-East could not buy a bucket at the other
end. Another reverse layup by Hayes and the Honeybears stretched the
lead to 24-4. Fitzpatrick would contribute two more buckets on this
scoring run by Mount Pulaski and Thomas would finish off the quarter
with two more for a commanding 30-4 halftime lead.
Great defense by Mount Pulaski stopped Chester-East from scoring all
together in the second quarter. Makenzie Antoine broke the scoring
drought for the Panthers in the third quarter with a couple free
throws and a basket. Mount Pulaski's trio of Hayes, Fitzpatrick and
Chandler though continued their scoring and at the end of three
quarters it was the Honeybears with a huge 42-8 lead.
Fitzpatrick had another nice layup and one to stretch the lead to
45-8 to open the fourth quarter. Chandler followed with another two
points just before the starters were taken out to a standing ovation
from the Mount Pulaski crowd.
Sawicki from Chester-East would score the final points for the
Panthers and just like that 24 minutes of basketball was over.
The final score was 47-10.
A great team effort and a balanced scoring attack by the MPGS 8th
graders indeed. For Mount Pulaski Hayes finished with 18 points,
Fitzpatrick had 13 points, Chandler chipped in 12 points and Thomas
with the remaining 4 points. Antoine led Chester-East with 6 points
and Sawicki added 4 points. After the game, Coach Jamie Anderson was
very pleased with his team and when asked about how this team
compares to some of his other great teams of the past he answered,
"There has been great chemistry within each group. On and off the
court each of these groups have gotten along well with each other.
You have to have that chemistry."
[to top of second column]
He noted that this particular group of girls has been playing
competitive basketball since 4th grade. He attributes much of
their success to the participation in American Youth Basketball
Tour (AYBT) summer ball. "Prior to the 5th grade season we knew
we had to bridge that gap between biddy ball and junior high
ball. AYBT is basically teams of all-stars. By competing in AYBT
we played a high level of competition that helped us to where we
are now. It's been a great thing."
As Anderson looks ahead to the upcoming weeks of the basketball
season he brings up the 8th Grade Logan County Tournament. "A week
from Saturday (November 1) county starts, and I anticipate a rematch
with West Lincoln-Broadwell, who we just beat in overtime by four
Then Saturday, November 15th is our 8th grade day against
Springfield Christian, who beat us in sectionals last year. And we
had just beaten them weeks before by 26 points. So you never know.
After that it's two more regular season games and then regionals
Anderson noted how quickly the season is going and before he got
away, answered a quick question about Skylar Hayes. Hayes was
recognized on the court prior to the start of Thursday night's game
for scoring 1,000 points in her junior high career. Immediately upon
shaking hands with Coach Anderson and receiving congratulations from
her team she walked over the stands to hand the ball to her
grandfather, Dick Hayes of Mount Pulaski. A gesture that certainly
caught him by surprise.
Hayes scored her 1,000th point on the road Tuesday night as the
Honeybears won 38-26 over Williamsville. Hayes scored 24 points in
that win. To Coach Jamie Andersonʼs knowledge, Hayes is the first
girls basketball player at Mount Pulaski to score 1,000 points at
the junior high level. Quite an impressive feat.
“Iʼm very proud of Skylarʼs achievement, but itʼs a team thing and
weʼve all achieved it together,” Coach Anderson said. Anderson has
guided the Honeybears now for eleven seasons and has turned the
program into a huge success. On the bench as an assistant with
Anderson is Steve Hayes, father of Skylar. When asked about his
daughter's accomplishment he was "humbled" but the smile on his face
showed it was indeed one of those proud dad moments.
Assistant coach Hayes himself chose to talk more about the team
instead of his own daughter noting, "These girls move the ball and
find the open person so well. They share the ball and are very happy
to do that." Indeed according to both coaches, it's all about the
team, hence the slogan on the girls' warm-up t-shirts, "A TEAM ABOVE
ALL - ABOVE ALL A TEAM"
Editor's Note: Skylar is the
daughter of Steve and Jessica Hayes of Mount Pulaski. Her dad,
Steve, was a basketball standout for Mount Pulaski. His Bruin team
won the 1980 Class B State Championship and he was the sparkplug on
that Hilltopper team that finished second in state to McLeansboro in
1984. Skylarʼs grandparents are Dick Hayes of Mount Pulaski, and
Steve and Carolyn Schreiber of Lincoln.