Kingston senior point guard Paden Hayes scored 23 points Saturday in the third-place game at the Kingston New Years Classic. But there's more to his game.
KINGSTON — An extension of his coach, Paden Hayes has “all the freedom.”
A varsity player for four years, Hayes’ experience serves him well.
Ticking down from 20 seconds, Paden Hayes waited until 11 seconds remained to initiate the offense from the top of the key.
He passed to the left wing, cut through the lane, darted to his left.
He received a pass, and shot from the left corner, which found nylon with two seconds remaining in the third quarter.
That shot stretched Kingston’s lead to 14.
Silo got within nine early in the fourth quarter.
Hayes answered with a layup and one free throw on consecutive possessions, which helped Kingston beat Silo 60-48 Saturday in the third-place game at the Kingston New Years Classic.
Hayes led all scorers with 23 points in Kingston’s motion offense predicated on spacing.
“He (Kingston coach Taylor Wiebener) pretty much lets me call whatever I want, unless he doesn’t like it,” Hayes said. “We kind of think alike, so he gives me all the freedom, really. I enjoy it. He lets me go to the rim when I want.”
Wiebener trusts his senior point guard. It’s a product of their familiarity.
“He kind of needs to be the guy that is the coach out on the floor,” Wiebener said. “He kind of knows what I’m thinking, what the next step is going to be.
“To be honest, I’m coaching some of the guys sitting on the bench. I’m not turned around, able to see what’s (occurring) on the floor, so I’ve got to have somebody out there that kind of knows what I’m going to want. Paden does a pretty good job of that. He’s been playing pretty meaningful varsity minutes since he was a freshman. He knows everything I expect out of him. He’s got the freedom to run the show.”
It’s a performance with many experienced members. The Class 3A No. 13 Redskins (7-4) start five seniors: Hayes, Noah Hodges, Tyler Stovall, Keelan Price and Adonis Fox.
In a manner similar to Hayes’ sophomore year — before Stovall and Skye Lowe arrived — Hayes bears much of the ball handling duties. It’s a versatile team, to be sure, but it was Hayes who escaped the Rebels’ back-court double team twice in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter. He passed out of it on another occasion.
While Lowe lessened Hayes’ ball handing duties in 2014-15, he’s recovering from a knee injury this season. Hayes is the predominant offensive maestro in this team’s final campaign.
“I just know when to pass the ball,” Hayes said, “and not make long passes when they’re pressing, things like that.”
Hayes hit the 3-pointer to open the scoring at the 6:17 mark of the first quarter in the Redskins’ wire-to-wire victory. Tyler Stovall hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter to create that initial separation — en route to 17 points.
Hayes is not satisfied.
“I know we beat a good team,” Hayes said. “I’m tired of winning third, honestly. I wanted to be in the championship game.
“It’s a good win for us. We’ll keep getting better.”
Kingston: 60 (Paden Hayes 23, Tyler Stovall 17, Noah Hodges 13, Keelan Price 4, Adonis Fox 3).
Kingston: 7 (Stovall 4, Hayes 3)