The 2019-20 basketball season was a mixed bag for Riverdale senior and Notre Dame signee Alasia Hayes.
The good? After playing in the shadows of her older sisters and other former Lady Warrior standouts for three years, Hayes showed she was capable of practically carrying a team on her back.
The bad? The reason Hayes was forced into that role was a rash of injuries to her team, including younger sister Acacia, that forced younger players to step up around her.
During it all the DNJ’s all-area girls basketball player of the year became one of the top players in the state, averaging 23.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists.
She led the Lady Warriors to 19 wins and a second-place finish in 7-AAA, ultimately reaching a region semifinal berth. She was a Class AAA Miss Basketball finalist and a McDonald’s All-American nominee.
And this, with four projected impact players hurt at some point during the season — two who missed the entire season. Hayes constantly had either double coverage or the opponents’ top defender hounding her all season.
“My senior season wasn’t what we really expected it to be,” said Hayes, who finished her career with two state titles and a state semifinals appearance. “We had to fight through a lot of adversity, and we had to learn how to readjust with all the injuries.
“But I’ve learned so much from this season. I had to take a big role and step up and become a leader on and off the court for my teammates. I worked so hard this year trying to perfect and get better at some of my weaknesses, and I’m going to continue doing that and prepare for the next level at Notre Dame.”
It’s the fourth consecutive season a Riverdale player has won the award. Her sisters Anastasia (2017) and Aislynn (2019) were players of the year, as well as former teammate Brinae Alexander (2018).
The 2019-20 all-area teams include:
Why chosen: The all-district performer averaged 15.7 points and 3.8 rebounds and shot 36% from 3-point range.
Why chosen: Led Blackman to the Class AAA sectional by averaging 16.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists.
Why chosen: Averaged 10 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists and turned it up in the postseason in leading the Lady Blaze to the AAA sectional. Shot 35% from 3-point range.
Why chosen: The AAA Miss Basketball finalist, all-area player of the year and Notre Dame signee averaged 23.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists.
Stewarts Creek, Jr.
Why chosen: The all-district selection averaged 12.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.2 steals.
Guard: Kristin Fann, Cannon Co, Sr.
Guard: Makayla Moates, Eagleville, Sr.
Guard: Zyion Shannon, Stewarts Creek, So.
Forward: Nicole Egeruoh, Oakland, Jr.
Forward: Katelyn Worley, Riverdale, Sr.
Guard: Faith Anderson, Rockvale, Jr.
Guard: A.C. Markham, Providence Christian, Jr.
Guard: Joelle Patton, Blackman, Sr.
Forward: Madison Henegar, Stewarts Creek, Sr.
Forward: Jessie Kauffman, Cannon Co., Sr.
Coach of the Year
Why chosen: Led Blackman to an unbeaten 7-AAA slate and a Region 4-AAA title, earning a spot in the Class AAA sectional.