Christian Academy of Indiana senior Aaron Hayes scored a school-record 50 points during Saturday’s four-overtime marathon victory over Christian Academy of Louisville. He nearly set two state records from the free-throw line (26 of 35), and he’s the 96th player in state history to score 50 or more points during a regular-season game.
The Courier-Journal: You were 26 of 35 from the free-throw line while scoring your 50 points. That’s the second-most attempts and makes from the line in state history. Did you know you were close to the records?
I had no idea. It’s pretty cool. The entire team kept challenging the rim, and they just kept fouling us. That’s how we got all those free throws. It’s always fun to keep shooting those.
Coach (Steve) Kerberg said he pulled you from the game in the first minute and chewed you out, benched you for about 30 seconds. What was that conversation like?
He just told me to get my head in the game, that I wasn’t playing very hard. It was a little bit of motivation.
Did the four overtimes drain you?
That was like six quarters of playing, so it got pretty tiring after the first overtime. And the game didn’t get over until about 10:30. We all wanted to end it; we didn’t want to keep playing that long. It would have been hard to take losing that game after playing that long. I was pretty tired.
What’s the secret to your success as a scorer?
My team does a really good job of getting me the ball where I need it. And I take what the defense gives me. Sometimes that means scoring, sometimes that means finding my teammates when they’re open. I usually look for the open guy.
What do you enjoy away from basketball?
I like playing video games, which is kind of fun. I like the NBA 2K game. I’m usually always the Lakers.
What’s wrong with the Lakers this season?
Kobe is definitely doing his part. It might be Dwight Howard a little bit. They’re getting old. Phil Jackson would have helped, but they didn’t hire him back as the coach. That was disappointing.
Who has been your role model?
My favorite player is Kobe Bryant. And the other is David Scott. It was nice to have my game with him there. He played Division I and professional basketball. Even though we’re a small school, he still did all that stuff.
What lessons have you learned from playing high school sports?
It’s taught me to work hard. If you put enough work into something, you can become good at it. That’s a good lesson for life. I’ve always wanted to get better, so that taught me to work. I like shooting in the gym.
Now that your team has won a couple in a row, what are the goals ahead?
We’re getting better every single game. Our goal is to win the sectional. We’re looking forward to the Borden game (Jan. 18) because they’re probably the sectional favorite.
AARON HAYES UP CLOSE
School: Christian Academy of Indiana
Family: parents Jeff and Terri; brother Alex (22) and sister Amanda (18)
Student/athlete: Aaron also played tennis for the Warriors. He’s now eighth in the state in scoring at 25.9 points per game.
Coach Steve Kerberg: “Aaron is a very quiet kid but a very hard worker. He’s not the kind to be a vocal leader, but he’s the kind who will lead through effort and hard work. The success he has seen is a result of the work he has put into it.”
Free throws made (game)
30 Dave Kinsey — Silver Creek vs. Clay Pool 1955-56
26 Aaron Hayes — Christian Academy of Indiana vs. Louisville Christian Academy 2012-13
26 Kyle Cox — Blue River Valley vs. Lapel 1999-2000
25 — Four players tied for fourth
Free throws attempted (game)
39 Jerry Augsberger — Hartford Twp. vs. Decatur 1952-53 (made 24)
35 Aaron Hayes — Christian Academy of Indiana vs. Louisville Christian Academy 2012-13
35 Dave Kinsey — Silver Creek vs. Clay Pool 1955-56 (made 30)
Free throws attempted (team)
70 Gary Bowman vs. Lew Wallace 2007-08
69 Lakeview Christian vs. Modoc 1995-96
66 Christian Academy of Indiana vs. Louisville Christian Academy 2012-13
— Justin Sokeland