By KEVIN WEAKS
MURFREESBORO — Macy Wright and Brandi Goodman were team leaders by their actions as well as their words.
Their efforts certainly paid off this season.
Combining to score nearly 3,000 points as teammates, the duo carried Obion Central to the Class AA girls’ basketball state tournament championship game on Saturday.
And while the result was not what the Lady Rebels had in mind, it wasn’t for a lack of hard work.
OC closed perhaps the greatest season in school history with a 61-52 loss to Christ Presbyterian Academy in the state title game Saturday afternoon in Murfreesboro.
It marked the final game in a Lady Rebel uniform for Wright. It served as extra motivation for Goodman.
“We’ve been working for this since the beginning of the season — running hills, lifting weights and just coming together as a team,” Goodman said. “We did a lot better than a lot of people thought we would.
“We’re definitely going to try to come here again. It will be a goal we set at the beginning of the year.”
Teary-eyed and understandably dejected over the outcome, Wright was able to reflect on the season just completed.
“It’s been really fun,” Wright said. “We’ve been closer this year than we ever have before since I’ve been here. It’s just amazing how close we’ve become. We’re a family, and we’ll always be a family. After I’ve gone, I’ll always come back to watch. I’ll never forget the fun I’ve had with these girls. I hope they come back next year and win it all.”
The gritty point guard who could carry the team with her play on both ends of the floor said she learned a lot coming up through the ranks at Obion Central. Mainly, she learned what not to do and how to act.
“I’ve learned that if you want people to look up to you, you have to be nice and not try to be treated any better,” Wright said. “You have to be one of them, and that’s what I did. That’s what all the seniors did. We became really close, and we all were team leaders. I guarantee none of them (younger players) want us to leave, compared to some of the seniors we’ve had before.”
Wright said too many upperclassmen in her first two seasons kept the team from reaching its ultimate goal. The Lady Rebels were eliminated in the Region 7AA Tournament semifinals each of the previous three years prior to this year.
“When I was a freshman, it was hard,” Wright said. “We weren’t going to get anywhere with the way the seniors treated us. My sophomore year, it was pretty hard, too. We had people who thought they were better. That’s what happens when you get the big-head of being a senior. You just can’t do that if you want to make to where we made it. I guess that’s why we made it this year.”
Wright finished her career with over 1,700 points and has been an impact player since her freshman season.
“Even as a freshman, I knew I had a role on this team, and that’s what I did,” Wright said.
Goodman, who averaged a double-double this year and has 1,200 points in her three seasons, learned some more lessons at the state tournament.
Playing against the elite players in the state, she was constantly surrounded whenever she touched the ball.
She plans on helping the younger Lady Rebels understand the importance of hard work. She would like to get started immediately.
“I wish, but I think there’s a rule that says we have to sit out for a while,” she said.
Published in The Messenger 3.12.12