Coach Chad Kiser’s comment that “He’s the real deal who can do it all,” sums up the talent level of the 6-7 Aldridge, an Associated Press All-Ohio first-teamer, who led LaBrae to the Division III state final four.
“It’s hard to start as a freshman on a varsity team and even harder to start on a good varsity team as a freshman,” Kiser said of Aldridge’s first year when the Vikings went 20-3.
Aldridge was the main guy as a sophomore in 2011-12 when LaBrae was 20-0 before losing in the district semifinals to Berkshire.
Aldridge’s progress continued this past season, when, as a junior, he led the team to another undefeated season in league and a 24-4 record after losing to eventual state runnerup Versailles.
“We made a giant leap,” said Kiser, who added, “We’ll see how far we can go his senior year.”
Peyton took a more aggressive role with the ball late in the season.
“I attempted to shoot more, whether inside or out,” he said. “When the ball was in my hands, I’d either pull up for a shot or find the open guy because a lot of teams like to double-up when I’m in the post.”
Around the same time, teammates started making big shots, which made LaBrae more dangerous.
The son of Rick and Lisa Aldridge averaged 21 points, 11.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists, four blocks and 2.5 steals.
“I was most proud of making it to state,” Peyton said. “I enjoyed the last couple minutes of the Beachwood game [regional final] when all the starters were taken out and we knew we were going to state.”
Not only does Aldridge bring his “A” game on the court, but he brings it in the classroom as a straight-A student.