Shadyside’s Holenka sisters join elite 1,000-point club

Scoring 1,000 points at Shadyside became a family affair this season.

When Hayley Holenka surpassed the coveted milestone a couple of weeks back against Pickerington Central, she joined older sisters Ashley and Shayla as the lone trio of female siblings to enter the prestigious club in Eastern Ohio annals.

The three have combined for a grand total of 4,337 points heading into the Lady Tigers’ clash with OVAC Class 5-A University High of Morgantown today at 2 p.m. Ashley leads all scorers in Tigers’ history – male of female – with 1,723 career counters from 1997-2001. Shayla has 1,342 and Hayley 1,272 and counting.

“It’s been fun,” said Mark Holenka, the trio’s father who also serves as the Tigers’ football coach. “I tend not to worry too much about the points. I look at all the other tidbits … the little things they do right or wrong.”

Holenka played some basketball growing up, but admitted he was no scoring machine like his daughters. His wife, Lana, didn’t play either.

So, where did these girls learn the game?

“On the playgrounds in Bellaire and Shadyside,” Mark Holenka said. “We were at the courts every day. There were no magic wands or anything like that. Their success came from all their hard work in the gyms and during the summers.

“I think they kind of picked up the game because we didn’t have Barbie dolls and stuff like that laying around our house.”

When asked where she thought the threesome got their skills, Ashley said, “I don’t think we had as much skill as we did work ethic. We were drilled and skilled all of our lives. We started out in the Little Dribblers and just kept moving up.

“I think my dad’s coaching background really had a lot to do with it,” she continued. “He just pushed us and pushed us to be the best we could be. He actually made us believe that we were better than we were. That just sunk in and we took it to heart.”

While none of the girls got the chance to play together, they all had the same thought about being 1,000-point scorers.

“It’s neat,” said Ashley, who went on to play collegiately at Oakland University in Michigan. “You remember the experiences and you know its a moment to remember, so you kind of rejoice with them and be excited for them as well.”

She said her most memorable moment in basketball came in college when Oakland qualified for the NCAA women’s tournament and met Vanderbilt in the first round.

“I loved playing D-I basketball,” she said with a huge smile. “They fed you and they put you on airplanes to see the world. It was a great experience.”

Ashley was the lone sister to reach the plateau on the Tigers’ hardwood, as Shayla scored hers at St. John Central and Hayley during the Martins Ferry Holiday Tournament.

“”It was pretty neat,” Shayla said of the three becoming 1,000-point scorers. “It was exciting that all three of us were able to accomplish that feat. We’re all pretty competitive, so it’s nice we all got 1,000.”

Following her prep career, which ended in 2005, Shayla took her skills to Wheeling Jesuit where she played for four years.

Hayley completed the trifecta earlier this season.

“It was always one of my goals growing up,” she said of reaching the 1,000-point mark. “I think that is usually one of every player’s goals, but it’s not always about me. My teammates do a good job of getting me the ball, so they deserve some of the credit.”

Was there any pressure on her being the youngest of the three?

“No. I was hoping that I could do it, but I learned a lot from watching them. They are also very supportive of me and tell me what I did right and what I did wrong.”