TOPEKA — Three thousand, nine hundred thirty-eight points and counting.
That is the impressive number of points scored in high school basketball games by three members of the Hales family.
The mind-boggling total is still growing as the youngest member of the threesome — Elijah Hales — is a junior at Westview High School and the Warriors are heading into the Class 2A regional Saturday at North Judson.
Elijah Hales went over the 1,000-point plateau by hitting two free throws near the end of a 50-39 win over LaVille in the sectional semifinals last Friday. He scored 15 points Saturday evening in a 67-28 sectional championship win over Central Noble for a career total of 1,016 points.
“It’s just a number,” the younger Hales said. “My focus is on what can I do for my team to get ready for the next game. We are really an unselfish group. There are four or five of us capable of scoring 30 points in any game.”
Hales is the ninth player in Westview boys history to exceed the 1,000-point barrier. Others are Gary Yoder (1973 graduate) 1,711; Rusty Yoder (1994) 1,698; Ryan Yoder (1990) 1,594; Chandler Aspy (2015) 1,299; Brad Oesch (1987) 1,283; Adam Christner (2009) 1,219; Jeremy Bachman (1990) 1,081 and Jeff Nelson (2000) 1,023.
“It made me feel old when I realized he (Elijah) had went over 1,000 points,” Westview coach Rob Yoder said. “I remember him as a little kid shooting baskets in the gym.”
Elijah’s father Ross Hales tossed in 1,322 points during his prep career at Elkhart Memorial High School and Elijah’s older sister Grace netted 1,600 in her career at Westview.
Both are the career-scoring leader at their respective schools.
“The fact all three of them scored more than 1,000 points shows how athletically talented they are,” Yoder said. “The amazing thing is how unselfish they are. Every one of them is out to do what is best for the team and it is not just on the basketball court. They are so helpful to everyone around them on and off the court.
“Elijah is one of the most unselfish players we have had here at Westview.”
The younger Hales is the second-leading scorer this season for the Warriors (26-1) with 386 points and tops the squad in assists with 144.
“Scoring points like he has and leading the team in assists is a tribute to the tremendous coach Rob Yoder is,” said Ross Hales, who is the Westview JV coach. “Rob has built a tremendous system here and we have a great team this year.
“One of the first things Rob looks at after a game is how many team assists we had. He wants players that are sharing the basketball.”
Ross Hales was a little surprised when the scoring accomplishments of his family were brought to his attention.
“I never really thought about the fact we had all scored more than a 1,000 points,” he said. “We were all fortunate to play in good programs for good coaches and with other good athletes.
“Scoring 1,000 points is a lot more than an individual accomplishment. It’s a team thing. To score that many points you have to have someone getting you the ball in the right situations and someone setting screens to get you open,” Ross said.
He admitted it’s different being a parent on the bench.
“It’s harder and more nerve-wracking than I expected it to be,” he said
Ross Hales played three seasons for Larry Bilger and one for John Wysong at Memorial. He scored 431 points as a senior in 1988-89 as Memorial advanced to the championship of the South Bend semistate before falling 78-62 to South Bend St. Joseph.
He went on to play football at Indiana University and one year of basketball for the Hoosiers under the guidance of Bob Knight.
Grace Hales played all four years at Westview for veteran coach Randy Yoder. She netted 517 points as a senior, leading the Warriors to a fourth straight sectional title during her career.
She is currently playing for the Valparaiso Crusaders.
Another prolific scoring family threesome was Garvin Roberson, his bother Rod Roberson and Garvin’s son Daimon Beathea. Garvin (1970 Elkhart High School graduate) had 1,356 points, Rod (1977 Elkhart Central) 1,153 and Daimon (1991 Elkhart Memorial) 1,228 for a total of 3,737.
A pair of high-scoring combos were the Weirich brothers and the Gary brothers. Dean Weirich (1972 Northridge product) poured in 1,823 points and Don Weirich (1966 Middlebury) 1,033 for 2,856 while Dairese Gary (2007 Concord) scored 1,300 and Shawntes Gary (2005 Concord) 1,018 for 2,448.
The fourth member of the Ross Hales family — his wife Candace — was also a basketball player at Jimtown High School. She played with Kim (Barrier) McGuire who was Miss Basketball in 1986. Unfortunately scoring records were not readily available for Candace or the Hales family total would be even higher.
“I have to give a shout out to my mom, because she has done so much for me,” Elijah Hales said.
Greg Keim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-533-2151, ext. 326. Follow Greg on Twitter @gkeim_TGN