Tired of being in a 'slump,' Isaac Matti scores school-record 50 points for Hayfield

Hayfield senior guard Isaac Matti etched his name in the record books for boys basketball when he scored a school-record 50 points on Tuesday in a victory over Blooming Prairie.

Hayfield, Goodhue boys basketball Section 1A Championship
Hayfield's Isaac Matti (11) takes a shot during a Section 1A championship boys basketball game against Goodhue in March of 2022. Matti set a single-game Hayfield scoring record when he tallied 50 points in a 76-53 win over Blooming Prairie on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo

HAYFIELD — After a couple of off games by his standards, Hayfield senior Isaac Matti was determined to be more aggressive when he took the court against Blooming Prairie in boys basketball on Tuesday night.

Matti not only shrugged off his minor “slump,” but he had a record-setting game in the process. The 6-foot-2 senior guard set a single-game scoring record for Hayfield when he poured in a whopping 50 points in a 73-56 victory over the Blossoms.

“I felt like it was about time to have a game where I scored a lot of points, but I definitely didn’t expect that many,” Matti said. “I was sick of being in a slump and I just wanted to break out.”

A “slump” for Matti consisted of scoring a combined 28 points in his previous two games. But he was just 3-for-17 from the field in a loss to Maple River on Jan. 20 and then he took a mere seven shots in Monday’s narrow 57-55 victory over United South Central.

Matti went into the game against Blooming Prairie looking to be more aggressive. He certainly accomplished that. He said he felt good going into the game and despite having to sit out several minutes with two fouls early on, he finished the first half with 19 points.


“In the second half he really started attacking the basket,” Hayfield coach Chris Pack said. “Whether they helped (on defense) or not, he was finishing with two or three guys around him.”

Matti, who is averaging 21.5 points per game, had set a personal best of 36 points in a game last season. But with points quickly piling up in the second half, he rapidly approached that mark.

“I was trying to win, but once we were up by 15 or 20 points, I was still feeling hot, so I wanted to get to 40,” Matti said.

He only made two 3-pointers in the contest, but he was hitting a wide variety of pull-up jumpers, scoring off dives to the hoop and was getting baskets in transition. He hit the 40-point mark with about 5 minutes to go. He then quickly scored 10 more points in just over 2 minutes.

“The 40 to 50 was very fast,” Matti said. “My teammates did a really good job, and they kind of knew that, too, because they have the points up on the scoreboard.”

Previous mark was 47

Until Matti's explosion on Tuesday, David Johnson held the record for points in a game for Hayfield with 47. Johnson, who still resides in the Hayfield area, was at the game with his wife, children, mother and sister.

“Up until he scored his 40th point everything was just kind of normal,” Pack said. “But once he got 40, he hit a deep three, he got a dunk in transition. I knew the scoring record was 47 so I thought we might as well make a play for that.”

Matti drained a 3-pointer which gave him 48 points in the game to set the school mark. Ironically that triple also pushed him past Johnson in career 3-pointers made, 265 to 264, which is second on Hayfield’s all-time list.


Once Matti hit the 50-point mark, he departed the game with about two and a half minutes to play.

“It just felt kind of weird,” Matti said. “I’ve never scored that many points and I just felt ‘on.’ My teammates did a good job of getting me the ball and I felt like I was being more aggressive than normal.”

Matti finished shooting 20-for-35 from the field and he was 8-for-10 at the line. After his career game, Matti is closing in on another milestone, the 2,000-point mark. He currently has 1,911 points, second on Hayfield’s all-time scoring list to Johnson, who scored 2,468 points.

Matti is hoping to play college basketball and he has been scouted at most games this season. He has been contacted by a number of Division III schools in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and some NAIA colleges as well. He currently has a pair of offers.

“There’s some options, but I still haven't decided yet,” he said. “I’m still trying to figure out what the bottom dollar is going to be and what I feel is going to be the best (fit for me).”

Matti and the Vikings still have some unfinished business for the rest of this season, and they have a bit of a chip on their shoulder.

Hayfield is the two-time defending Class A state champion. The Vikings are 13-4 this season and ranked No. 7 in the state in Class A, but Matti said the team has been getting some disrespect.

“We’ve had a lot of people talking and saying that we’re overrated,” he said. “We’ve been hearing that and we’re using it as motivation.”

Guy N. Limbeck is a Rochester native who has been working at a daily newspaper since 1981. He has worked at the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Guy at 507-285-7724 or
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