Hayes had rung in her 1,000th point
mile marker with a three and Lady
Trojans were proving they had some
three point shooters of their own.
The Trojans sunk seven
three-pointers in the first half and
took a 41-31 lead over Mount Pulaski
into the locker room.
Hayes did manage to score 12 points
in the first half, but she and her
team were just getting started. What
happened in the second half was
At one point Mount Pulaski got down
by 19 points. And then the comeback
began. It was almost as if the team
never even realized they had that
much of a deficit to overcome.
Hayes did have one thought on her
mind and that was simple. “I really
don’t want to lose this game,” she
said, “because I won’t even be able
to celebrate and have fun. So we
gotta start doing something.”
They did. That second half the
team, not just Hayes, turned it on
in a big way. Hayes smiled and
explained how the impossible became
possible. “We came and really just
dominated the second half,” said the
Domination to the tune of 54 points
put up by the Lady Hilltoppers in
the second half.
Here’s how, according to Hayes. “We
are getting it in to Morgan May.”
May, also a sophomore, finished with
a very respectable 12 points, 10
rebounds and 5 steals in the game.
Hayes continues telling of the
comeback, “We are getting good
passes from out of bounds drills, I
dribble-drived a lot and got to the
hoop, got fouls. We just all really
connected really well.”
Connected is right. With Hailey
Moore and Fikirte Mott hitting
threes in the third quarter, and
Isabella Wade, Ashley Houser and May
and Hayes continuing to hit buckets,
Mount Pulaski found themselves right
back in this one.
The Lady Hilltoppers trailed just
62-57 at the end of three quarters
Then in the fourth quarter Hayes,
who already had 23 points on the
day, managed to kick it up even a
notch higher. She poured in 19
points in the fourth quarter as
Mount Pulaski was making a
The Lady Hilltoppers took the lead
72-71 with 4:04 remaining in the
game and never looked back.
Shelby Bailey also came up huge in
the fourth quarter hitting 7 of 10
free throws. May rounded out the 28
point fourth quarter performance by
Mount Pulaski with a field goal and
just like that Maroa-Forsyth was
stunned with the 85-80 loss suffered
at the hands of the young Lady
Hayes ended with accomplishing yet
another feat. She managed to break
her own record that she literally
just set earlier this season. On
this memorable day of reaching 1,000
points she would also score a
record-breaking 42 points.
More importantly to Sky, the team
got the amazing 85-80 comeback win.
You truly cannot write a better
ending to a story. The day was
Hayes agreed and gave much credit to
Maroa-Forsyth and her teammates.
“They are a very good team and had a
lot of really good three-point
shooters,” she said of her
To their credit, Maroa-Forsyth’s
leading scorers were impressive.
Kate Beckemeyer and Kaylie Sprague
each tossed in 25 points. Kaylee
Robinson contributed 14 points.
top of second column]
Hayes admitted she had not played
in such a high scoring game before.
“We kept it in close range and ended
up pulling it out. It’s crazy,” she
said smiling and shaking her head.
Finally she added, “I am looking
forward to these next two years. We
are going to be a really solid
Mount Pulaski’s solid effort was
supported by placing seven players
in the scoring column and with a lot
of youth on the team, the future
does look good for the Lady
Mount Pulaski Head Coach Eric Leever
was obviously all smiles following
the win and Hayes’ great
achievements. “When we were down
nineteen, I thought we were going to
roll over and take a whuppin’. "The
kids really dug down and the
momentum changed. We hit a couple
layups and still were down by
fifteen. It was just a couple easy
buckets then and our attitude
changed and the intensity picked
up,” he said.
“The turnovers diminished and we
just played good, hard basketball to
finish the third and pretty much the
whole fourth quarter. That was fun
to see this late in the season.
We’ve kind of been struggling a
little bit. That was definitely a
positive,” Coach Leever said.
Leever continued singing the praises
of his young team. “We had a couple
kids step in late in the game. Late
in the third quarter we put Shelby
Bailey and freshman Kaylee Wilham in
on the wing, and they filled out the
third quarter and played the
remainder of the fourth and those
two kids played the best game
they’ve played all year. Not that
everybody else didn’t contribute,
but I was really pleased with Shelby
Bailey and Kaylee Wilham.
"Shelby had free throws that were
huge down the line. It was great to
see those kids step up.
"On the press, Skylar finished her
layups and went to the line.
"It was fun to see the kids really
play with the intensity and show a
little pride there really late in
Leever also appreciated the
community support at the game. “It
all turned out well. It was a very
good day,” Coach Leever concluded.
Next up for Mount Pulaski, a very
tough opponent on Thursday night.
The Lady Hilltoppers will face an
undefeated Tri-City/Sangamon Valley
team on the road. The JV game is
scheduled for 6 p.m. and the Varsity
is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m.
Mount Pulaski scoring