Like most athletes, basketball players are often judged by what they do at the end of a game.
“They say that’s what makes people great, and you’re not measured by what you do when you’re up 20, you’re measured by what you do when the pressure’s on. When it’s time to step up and take the big shot, you have to be a big shot taker and a big shot maker,” said Dora sophomore Isaac Haney.
Haney was both of those things in Dora’s win last week over Hartville.
The sophomore scored 34 points to help the Falcons win the battle between the two state ranked teams.
The performance followed three straight tournament wins for the Falcons, powered by three straight tournament MVPs for Haney.
He says hitting big shots is only one part of what he tries to do for his team.
“I want people to look at me and say that kid plays the game the right way, that kid wins games, that kid does things for his teammates,” Haney said.
Haney’s mindset also features a competitive edge.
That probably comes from his family life, which includes his older sister Andi, who scored more than 2,000 points as a basketball standout for West Plains.
“Me and Andi we’ve always had a competition thing going on, everything is competitive. We can’t sit down at the dinner table without me telling her I’m going to beat her at 1 on 1 and her telling me I’ve never seen a defender like her,” Haney said.
By now, Isaac is already halfway to his own 2,000 point career.
He surpassed 1,000 career points last month after posting the second highest scoring season for any freshman in MSHSAA history.
He admits his sister’s success serves as motivation.
“My family is everything to me, and she’s done a really good job of pushing me to be the best I can be,” Haney said.
That’s made him one of the best players in the state, especially in class one.
His team is also one of the best in its class, spending much of this season ranked number one.
That means hopes are high for the Falcons down the stretch.
“We would like to make a state run. The ultimate goal for every team is a state championship, and that’s no different for us,” Haney said.
As long as Haney keeps taking and making those big shots, that state championship might change from a team goal to a team accomplishment.