Hayden Alston, Texline basketball, Jr.
On the court: It was time for Texline to make a statement as the team to beat in District 3-1A last week, and nobody made a louder one than Alston. He helped keep the No. 6 Tornadoes unbeaten in district with a pair of huge games. On Tuesday night, Alston began the week with 28 points in a 109-35 rout of Pringle-Morse, which set up a big game Friday night against Wildorado. Alston again came up big in a game which decided the district lead, scoring 26 points in a 67-33 victory. That gave Texline a 27-4 mark and 7-0 record in district, putting the Tornadoes two games ahead of Wildorado for sole possession of the district lead. The 6-foot-5 Alston, who transferred from Hedley when his father took an assistant’s job at Texline, has fit in nicely with a team which won the Class 1A state championship two years ago and last year reached the state championship game again.
Coach Coby Beckner: “He’s starting to find a little bit more of an aggressive mindset and is playing with more confidence. He’s averaging right at 20 points and almost 10 rebounds a game and he’s just a really good kid. He’s been in the gym a lot and is a real pleasure to coach. His dad’s my assistant. We just keep working on him being a little bit more physical. He’s starting to figure out how to fit in to how we play. I didn’t know much about him at all. He’s just gradually gotten better and gotten more acclimated to our style of play. He’s realizing there’s a lot expected out of him so he’s starting to grasp that reality and embrace it. He’s figuring out we play a lot of big games and he’s adapting to that. He’s really good in flow and transition and can really jump off two feet.”
Alston: “I think the main point is just the team and the coaches with what we’ve been doing lately and how hard we’ve been working. It’s just contributing to the whole team’s success. I think it’s more about the mindset and the different plays we’ve been working on. It’s all just coming together and working out pretty nicely. I’m just looking for the ball more and getting to the hole. I think that was a big statement for me. To be more aggressive has just helped in every way. I’ve gotten the ball more, done more with it and been more productive all the way around. It was definitely a step up coming to a different type of basketball. It’s just a whole other level up here. Beckner and the team have really helped me out. I just think it opens up more opportunites for me and the whole team.”
Favorite band or musician: Tyler Childers
Favorite social media platform: Instagram
Favorite athlete: Michael Jordan
Bet you didn’t know: Is the oldest of five children with brother Collin a freshman teammate. His parents are expecting a sixth child.
Parents: Eric and Stephanie Alston