BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Surpassing 1,000 career points on Friday night, Kyla Hayes became the 14th player from the perennially dominant Cardinal O’Hara girls basketball program to reach that milestone, and the first to do so in her sophomore season.
Hayes, a 6-foot forward who holds scholarship offers from Niagara University and Canisius College, scored her 1,000th point on a floater in the first quarter of the Hawks’ 77-26 win against Kellenberg Memorial from Long Island. Hayes finished with 19 points and is averaging 16.3 this season.
“It really means a lot. I’ve put in a lot of hard work to get here,” said Hayes, who came back from an offseason knee injury. “I’m just really excited and appreciate everyone who helped me. And we are going to get 2,000 soon.”
As a freshman, Hayes scored 493 points in 24 games (20.5 average), ranking among the Western New York leaders. She was a second-team Class AA all-state selection and MVP of the Monsignor Martin playoffs, as the Hawks won their ninth consecutive league championship.
“Kyla has been a very special player since she’s been here,” O’Hara coach Nick O’Neil said. “She is a kid whose potential is unlimited. Coming off her knee injury, for a girl to be playing like she is now is extraordinary. I see a very bright future for her, with a lot of schools being very interested. They have been contacting me every day.”
Hayes scored 473 points in two varsity seasons as a middle school student playing for Maryvale. She was a top 15 scorer in Section VI as an eighth-grader.
Jontay Walton, a 2014 graduate who played for UMass-Lowell and Edinboro University, is O’Hara’s all-time leading scorer with 2,043 points. Shay Ciezki, now a freshman point guard for Penn State, broke Walton’s league record last year with 2,143 points.