Like mother, like son
LEAVITTSBURG – Lisa Aldridge sat at center court and looked through the lens of a camera – making a few minor adjustments.
In her view finder was her son, Peyton, who needed 18 points to tie her LaBrae High School record of 1,548 set in 1980, when she was called Lisa Kuszmaul.
Lisa is the LaBrae yearbook advisor and takes the camera to every game, getting shots of the various Vikings players. Tuesday, Peyton found his shot early and often.
“I gave the camera to someone else. I told them, ‘I’m too nervous.’ I told my nephew, ‘Take the camera and take some pictures,’ ” Lisa said. “He came out shooting pretty well, so I knew he had a shot.”
Lisa saw her son dribble through the zone and man-to-man pressure of the Brookfield Warriors a couple of times. Peyton, a 6-foot-8 versatile star, absorbed most Brookfield penetration with three blocks during a 58-46 victory over the Warriors.
Peyton’s defense is pretty potent, but the crowd gathered Tuesday at LaBrae High School wanted to see him break his mother’s milestone.
Aldridge had one of his 17 rebounds on a putback with 5:35 remaining to eventually tie Lisa’s mark.
Then, Mike Eakins found Peyton about 4 feet away from the basket and the LaBrae big man swished it through for his 20th and final points of the night. The Vikings (13-3) had 12 assists.
LaBrae called a timeout to recognize Peyton’s accomplishment.
Before resuming the game, he had one more thing to do – hug his mother.
“That record has been around since 1980,” Lisa said. “Someone was bound to break that record, whether it be a girl or a boy. A lot of times I used to challenge my girls because I’m the (LaBrae) varsity girls coach. I would challenge them. I would say, ‘Listen, there’s a goal you could try to reach.’ It just never happened.
“I told him this is one of those goals you can reach and obtain. It’s just really cool. I can’t be more proud of him. If I’m going to lose the record to someone, what better person than my own son.”
Peyton didn’t know the record coming into Tuesday’s game. He knew he was close, but nobody let him know by how much.
“They don’t tell me,” Peyton said.
The tell-tale sign of Tuesday’s game was the third quarter, when the Vikings shot 6 of 10 from the floor and all of their field goals came via an assist. LaBrae shot 20 of 43 from the floor.
“Peyton Aldridge always hits the open shot,” said Brookfield coach Bill Kovach, who talked about Aldridge’s eight points in the third. “If you double him, he finds the open man. That’s something we knew coming in. We wanted to try to keep it close so we could play zone. He’s always made everyone around him better.”
Meanwhile, Brookfield was 3 of 11 in the third quarter as LaBrae went on a 12-0 run during that stanza. The Warriors shot 16 of 52 from the floor.
“I thought we did a really good job of pressuring the ball, flatting it out the zone a little bit,” LaBrae coach Chad Kiser said. “We switched up our zone a little bit from the first half to the second half. It made a difference.
“It forced them into some quick shots.”
Justin Jenkins added 14 points for LaBrae, while Caleb Hunkus led Brookfield with 17.
As for Peyton, he zoned in on his parents, Rick and Lisa, after reaching the milestone.
“They’re both a huge influence on my life, ever since I was a little kid I’ve been in the gym,” Peyton said. “I give it all to God and them for blessing me with the capability of doing this.”