Prep Basketball Stars Set New Brands in Healdsburg, Piner

The North Bay League recently ended its shortened, pandemic-affected basketball season without crowning a league champion, playing a postseason tournament, handing over all-league honors or making the playoffs from the north coast section, which were canceled this year.

Despite the unusual spring campaign, some student-athletes still managed to achieve remarkable performances and reach important milestones.

Healdsburg senior shooting guard Dylan Hayman ended his high school career in second place in all-time career points (1,842) among Sonoma County top schools, while Piner’s junior point guard Sarah Tait became the all-time leading scorer (1,039 points) in the Prospectors Girls Basketball Program.

Hayman, 6-5, 195 pounds, who will graduate next week, has averaged 18.4 points per game over his four-year college career. With the league’s 10-game shorter schedule this year, Hayman fell short of the Sonoma County’s overall high school goalscoring record of 1,992 points set by Ukiah’s Kyle Heath in 1998, but did beat his own school’s career goal scoring record of 35.

If Hayman had scored his average for this year (25.5 points per game) in those 10 games, he would have finished with a prediction of 2,100 points and easily broke Heath’s record.

“If Hayman had our full season this year, even though we didn’t make the playoffs, he would still have 10 games and would almost certainly – barring a catastrophic injury – break that record,” said the ‘Healdsburg Coach Yasha Mokaram. “He’s a hard worker. He does whatever it takes. He’s a real basketball junkie.

Hayman, 17, has racked up an intoxicating array of stats over his senior year. In addition to his scoring average, he tallied 12.5 rebounds per game, shooting 52% from the ground, 35% from the three-point line and 81% from the free throw line.

During Hayman’s tenure on the varsity team, the Greyhounds experienced a resurgence in their basketball program. This season, Healdsburg was 14-2 overall, finishing 7-1 in the NBL-Oak division for second place in the standings.

“I really improved my shooting this year. During quarantine I received my shot, ”said Hayman. “This year I really got back to my three-point shooting. It helps the rest of my game if I can hit all three – it really opens up my game. “

Hayman, who also plays club ball with the North Bay Basketball Academy, said his goal is to play at the NCAA Division I level. He plans to go to a prep school on the east coast to boost his recruiting potential for a Division I program.

“I think Dylan is good enough to play in Division I. Middle schools are realistic for him,” Mokaram said. “It wouldn’t shock me if he did a Pac-12 school.”

The teammates voted team captain Hayman the “hardest worker,” “easiest to coach” and “best teammate” on the team.

“It’s good that my teammates think I’m a good teammate. I’m more of a leader than a best friend of my teammates, ”said Hayman. “I push my teammates and they know I’m trying to make them better.”

Being the Greyhounds’ go-to scorer has led opponents to focus on Hayman, which often means he has to fight against physical defenses.

“The teams are trying to stop me from catching the ball,” he said. “On my arms I had scratches from the defenders holding me. I had to watch myself not to push back and not to commit offensive faults. “

Mokaram said opponents were “playing football” with Hayman on the pitch and would stage him and foul him in an attempt to tire him out and knock him out of his game.

“Dylan gets caught. He has bruises and scratches after every game, but he never complains, ”Mokaram said. “He’s really strong. He’s a pretty tough kid. “

It’s not only Hayman’s offensive play that stands out, but his defensive skills as well.

“Dylan is an extremely underrated defender,” Mokaram said. “Its length is quite rare for Sonoma County. He can defend the perimeter. He is very tight in defense.

Hayman – who has an overall GPA of 3.9 in high school and wants to study viticulture or agribusiness in college – had to overcome severe adversity in his sophomore year when he had a double infection brain called meningoencephalitis, which causes seizures and stroke-like symptoms. Several years ago, he had a seizure from which he did not recover and was airlifted to UCSF in an induced coma and hospitalized for five days. He eventually came out of a coma and recovered, but his second season of basketball was greatly affected.

“It was hard to miss so many games that year and not be myself on the pitch for the last half of the year,” said Hayman. “Since then, I really enjoy every day more than before and I treasure every moment on the pitch because I know what it’s like to have it taken away.”

About Kimberly Alley

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