Lady Colts advance, honor Hayes’ 1,000

Feb. 11, 2013 @ 11:14 PM

Crossroads Christian advanced in the 1-A Carolina Christian Conference Tournament Monday, defeating Neuse Christian 52-22 in the play-in game before honoring senior Jessi Hayes for reaching 1,000 career points.

The seventh-seeded Colts advanced to meet No. 2 Cresset Christian today in Durham.

In boys action, No. 8 Crossroads defeated No. 9 Lee Christian 69-37, earning an away match today with No. 1 Northwood Temple Academy. Find a story on the Colts’ win over Lee Christian online at hendersondispatch.com or in Wednesday’s print edition.

Hayes led the Lady Colts Monday with 24 points, bringing her career points tally to 1,031. Hayes reached 1,000 Friday in a 43-38 loss at Trinity Academy.

“I honestly didn’t know (at what point) I got the thousand points,” said Hayes. “I saw my family up in the stands cheering. I was really happy, but I couldn’t spend too much time thinking about it because it was a really close game so I had to block it out and celebrate it later.”

Hayes is the first Colts player, boys or girls, to reach 1,000. She was honored for the achievement before the boys game Monday.

“It’s exciting,” said Crossroads coach Dana LaBerge. “It speaks to the progress we’re making as a school. We’re taking steps forward as a program.”

Hayes is averaging 15.3 points per game for her career and has been putting up 19 points per game this season to go along with 8.5 rebounds, 5.2 steals and 3.5 assists.

Hayes said she didn’t realize how close she was to 1,000 until her coach did some calculating about midway through the season. Reaching the milestone was a priority, but not at the expense of playing team basketball.

“I don’t want to be selfish at all because I don’t want to have the ‘ballhog’ title,” said Hayes. “I try to pass it around a lot. I don’t want the game to be won based on me. I want it to be a team effort so they can get better to. Next year I won’t be here so they have to get used to the game without me too.”

“She’s a fighter,” added LaBerge. “She rises to that challenge of carrying the team on her back. If we need points, I know she’s going to do everything she can to try and get them. She wants the ball in her hands when it matters.”

Caroline May added 17 points Monday. Crossroads led 25-7 at halftime and 46-13 entering the fourth.

The Colts were competitive in both previous contests with Cresset this season, falling by four points in the first meeting and by two in the last outing.

“I keep telling the girls it’s tough for any team to beat another team three times in a season,” said LaBerge. “We’ve been neck-and-neck with them, so we know we can play with them. We’ve got nothing to lose. The pressure’s on them, not on us.”

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.