The old saying “You can’t stop her, you can only hope to contain her” may be a running cliche these days when it comes to an exceptional athlete in sports.
But for one Cody girls basketball star, the saying couldn’t be more accurate.
In just her junior year at Cody High School, guard Molly Hays was selected as the Gatorade Wyoming Girls Basketball Player of the Year, the first-ever girls basketball player of the year chosen from Cody.
Hays stood atop multiple statistical categories en route to leading the Fillies to their first undefeated season (25-0) and the only state basketball title in school history.
Hays reached the 1,000 point mark earlier in the season, hit the 23-point mark in two games during the state tournament and has helped lead the Fillies to two consecutive undefeated regular seasons and a combined mark of 49-1.
“My reaction to hearing the news honestly was just surprise,” Hays said.
It didn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has watched Hays on the floor since her freshman year, helping the Fillies to the 4A state championship game appearance the past three seasons.
This year Hays led the state in scoring at the end of the regular season at 21.3 points per game. She also led the state in steals by a wide margin at 5.2 per game.
Hays connected at a clip of 83% of her free throw attempts to lead the state as well.
In a win against Evanston in February, Hays dropped in 34 points, the best single game outing in the state. She followed that up with a 32-point effort on 13 made field goals against Kelly Walsh, the third-highest scoring game in the state and the most field goals made in a game by any player in the state.
“Molly can do it all,” coach Chris Wagner. “We knew teams were going to be focused on her and switch up their game plans a little bit, but she finds a way to create shots and find her teammates for open looks. She is a special player.”
Hays averaged 3.5 assists per contest to land in the top six in Wyoming, and was in the top five in three-point percentage, plus led her team in rebounding as a 5 foot, 8 inch guard.
“Molly has the ability, talent and basketball IQ to completely take over games,” Kelly Walsh coach Kayla Gilliam said. “She changes the game completely when on the floor. She is a threat with or without the ball in her hands.”
A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Hays has volunteered locally as a speech pathology intern and as a youth basketball coach.
She has also donated her time to multiple community service initiatives on behalf of her church youth group, all the while maintaining a weighted 4.05 GPA in the classroom.
The Gatorade Player of the Year Award recognizes excellence in sports, in the community and in the classroom.
“Molly has put in the work,” Wagner said. “Nobody works harder than her during the season and during the summer to improve her game. She is a great teammate and supports every girl on the floor every minute.”
The fact that the three-time All-State selection is surrounded by some of best players and people in the state never goes unrecognized with Hays.
“I never would have gotten anything without my teammates,” Hays said. “They are the real reason behind the award, because without them I couldn’t have gotten it. I am so beyond blessed to play with them.”
Hays also received All-State honors for volleyball last fall, and will look to help lead the Fillies soccer team to a shot at a state title this spring.
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