Kontny joins SHS’s 1,000-point clubKontny is just the fourth Spartan girl to reach 1,000 points. Sarah Mattson, in 1996, was the first to accomplish the feat, and more than a decade passed before Lindsey Lindstrom became Superior’s all-time leading scorer with 1,312 points in 2007.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
Superior High School’s 1,000-point club gained another member Thursday night when junior Hailey Kontny surpassed the milestone in Superior’s 69-29 victory over Ashland.
Kontny is just the fourth Spartan girl to reach 1,000 points. Sarah Mattson, in 1996, was the first to accomplish the feat, and more than a decade passed before Lindsey Lindstrom became Superior’s all-time leading scorer with 1,312 points in 2007.
Earlier this season Jessica Lindstrom joined her sister as a 1,000-point scorer, and now Kontny brings the total to four.
“It’s an accomplishment, but honestly I don’t take it as a really big deal,” Kontny said. “There’s not a lot of people that do it, but (Thursday) night was all about the win.”
The Spartans’ victory over Ashland assured them of their third consecutive Lake Superior Conference title. It also ticked one item off their to-do list.
Next up is Superior’s ultimate goal — a trip to the WIAA Division 1 state tournament.
“If we make it to state, that is definitely the time where we can just celebrate and take pictures,” Kontny said. “That is the big moment for everyone on our team, what we just want and we strive for and work hard for in practice every day.”
Kontny scored her 1,000th career point with 41.1 seconds remaining in the first half Thursday. She drew contact on the play but still managed to put in the layup.
“Hailey drove to the basket and went strong to the rim,” said Phil Roe, head coach of the Spartans. “She went with all her strength to the basket — what we’ve seen for quite a few years.”
At the next dead ball Ashland stopped the game and Kontny was presented with the game ball.
“That was really nice,” Roe said. “Hailey is definitely a good inside-out scorer, and she’s very strong. She’s just a good player all around.”
Kontny now sits at 1,020 career points following a 16-point performance against DeLaSalle (Minn.) on Saturday. She also holds the distinction as the only guard to score 1,000 points for the Spartans. All three previous 1,000-point scorers played forward or center.
Kontny began playing basketball at a young age. Her father, Dave Kontny, coaches the SHS boys basketball team and remembers when Hailey played youth basketball in the Superior Basketball Association (SBA).
“She played with some of my varsity players — Derek (Kontny), Jordan (Hughes) and Ben (Erickson) in the SBA and won a title there,” Dave Kontny said.
Hailey Kontny then went on to win the SBA in-house title in fifth grade, and as an eighth-grader won a Wisconsin state title with a traveling team that included Jessica Lindstrom and four other current teammates.
Since her freshman year, Kontny has started for the Spartans. She’s a proven scorer with a good mid-range shot, but the junior also has a reputation as a ball hound who doesn’t mind taking a few knocks.
“I did play with the boys a lot when I was younger, so the aggressiveness from them kind of rubbed off on me,” Kontny said. “A lot of people come up to me and tell me ‘You literally mopped the floor with your body last night,’ because I dive for a lot of balls.
“I don’t know how my knees take that beating. I end up with lots of bruises, that’s for sure. But I find that a fun part of the game.”
Kontny said she still plays one-on-one basketball against her older brother, Derek, to give herself a challenge. He stands half a foot taller than her, but Kontny never backs down and typically keeps the games competitive.
“She has always had a passion for the game and has always played as hard as she does now and practiced just as hard,” Dave Kontny said. “I can remember her setting up cones in our three-stall garage and it being below zero outside, and I would hear the basketball bouncing and open the door and just smile as she was practicing between her legs, behind her back and with both hands. We would preach to her that if she wanted to be a great player she needed to be good at every part of the game.”
Hailey Kontny can now claim a place among Superior’s basketball elite, but what she really wants from this season will take the combined efforts of the team.
“It’s been on the girls’ minds since we had our summer camp, as far as their goals,” Roe said. “All teams say they want to go to state, but if their behaviors don’t match the goal, that just becomes a dream. I feel like my girls have been focused, and they still know that we have a ways to go each week, getting better as a team.”