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This week's Peak Performer: Bailey Haist, The Vanguard School basketball
DJ Hanes, Wasson
Hanes scored 27 of his team’s 60 points in a 4A state quarterfinal win over Thomas Jefferson. Wasson (25-1) is riding a 20-game winning streak into the semifinals where it will take on defending state champion Lewis-Palmer.
Jared Watkins, Peyton
The senior forward led the Panthers with 20 points and 12 rebounds in a 56-41 win over Custer County to help Peyton return to the 2A state quarterfinals after missing state last season. The Panthers are the No. 1 overall seed in the state.
Bailey Barton, Rampart
The senior scored four times and added an assist during a 10-1 rout of Mitchell to open the season. The 5A Rams scored six times in the first half to win the nonconference contest against the 4A Marauders.
Scott Demoli, Palmer
The senior went 2-for-4 at the plate and drove in four runs to help the Terrors defeat Denver East 10-7. Demoli also made a brief pitching appearance in the game, which was Palmer’s first of the season.
Andrew Weiss, Air Academy
The freshman was impressive in helping the Kadets defeat rival Rampart 160-150. The 15-year-old finished first in the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1 minute, 6.83 seconds and won the 200-yard individual medley (2:11.03).
Bailey Haist has the luxury of having her biggest fan at every one of her basketball games.
The Vanguard School senior point guard sees more than her coach when she looks to the sideline for direction, she also sees her dad.
“He’s an awesome coach and I respect him and his philosophy,” the 5-foot-7 Vanguard floor general said. “He always gives me advice and gives me constructive criticism, but he also supports me no matter what.”
The Coursers are having the best season in school history. Their 23-1 record and first 2A Black Forest League title earned them the No. 3 seed in the state quarterfinals in Pueblo.
Both members of the Haist family are hoping this year’s team can improve from the 2011-12 squad, which reached state but went winless there.
“We had hoped to get back to where we were last year, and the goal was to at least win a game, and hopefully more,” said Frank Haist, who is in his third year as the Vanguard coach. “Each player on the team plays their role significantly well, and we are led by a well-rounded leader.”
That leader had two monster games for the Coursers last weekend. On Friday night in a 74-31 first-round rout of Dayspring Christian Academy, Bailey filled up the stat sheet like few players in the state can, nearly tallying a quadruple-double.
Her 15 points, nine assists, eight steals and seven rebounds showed how balanced and dangerous her game has become, yet she stays humble.
“As a point guard you have to be a leader and stay calm and always encourage your teammates no matter what,” said Haist, who led the team with 23 points in a 51-41 regional title win over Holyoke. “We can win the state title if we keep working together as a team like we have all year; we have great chemistry.”
If anyone would know just how much Bailey has improved over the years, it would be her dad. She is a natural shooter and ball-handler, but she has worked very hard to get to the point she’s at now, he said.
“After the Holyoke game, their coach, Arlan Scholl, told me something that I think is the ultimate compliment: he said that she’s more than just a scorer,” Frank Haist said. “She makes everyone around her better, which makes her so valuable to our team.”
Bailey is looking into playing college ball after her high school career ends this weekend, although she hasn't decided where.
The Coursers battle No. 6 Yuma at 1:15 p.m. Thursday at CSU-Pueblo.