By KEVIN WEAKS
Teams from Region XVI in the junior college ranks will have to worry about Macy Wright now.
After four years of being a major pain to District 13AA and West Tennessee teams, the Obion County Central senior will take the basketball skills that have made so many high school coaches ill up one notch.
Wright signed a full scholarship to Three Rivers Community College, a National Junior College Athletic Association member school in Poplar Bluff, Mo.
“When coaches were recruiting her, they’d ask me to describe her,” OC head man Lyle LaRue said. “I told them my main description of Macy is you won’t want to coach against her. That’s the best compliment I can give her. I remember coaching against her, and it would give me heartburn trying to figure out how we were going to take care of the basketball with her on the other team.”
Wright began giving prep coaches sleepless nights in her very first varsity game as a freshman and, four the next four years, never let them rest.
Wright played in every Lady Rebel game since coming into the program in 2008-09, a school-record 137 in all, and finished with 1,722 points. She averaged 12.6 points a game for her prep career, helping Central to a 117-20 overall record.
This past season, OC set a school record for wins with a 34-3 overall record and reached the TSSAA Class AA state championship game. Wright scored 15 points a game while averaging four assists, rebounds and steals during the Lady Rebs’ record run to Murfreesboro.
“Her main assets are causing other teams’ trouble defensively and getting her hands on the basketball,” LaRue said. “(Three Rivers) plays an up-tempo, fast pace, so she’ll fit right in. And, they need guards, so the chance to play immediately is there.”
While Wright’s scoring caught the average fan’s eye night-in and night-out, it was her basketball knowledge that brought college coaches to Troy. Her aggressive, full court style of play will fit right in at TRCC, her future coach says.
“I like her court presence,” TRCC head coach Jeff Walk said. “She sees things happening before other players. That’s the first thing that caught my eye, her court savvy. She plays with a lot of heart and passion, and she has a great feel for the game.
“She’s a sleeper out there. She has a lot of upside.”
After a season where Murphy’s Law hung over the Lady Raider program — Three Rivers actually played the final 31⁄2 minutes of a game with just four players on the court — Wright could stabilize a Three Rivers team that suffered through numerous injuries and was never able to settle on a consistent starting lineup or rotation. A player that never missed a game in high school was a fact certainly not lost on Walk.
Walk, meanwhile, will likely get Wright in the lineup right away as he works to get her ready for a four-year school.
“We’re going to continue to work on her skill level, moving left and right,” the Raider coach said. “We’re going to beef her up a little because the college game is pretty physical. We’ll put some muscle on her and get her ready to go on to that next school.”
Wright is just as excited about becoming a part of the Raiders’ program as its leader is about bringing her on board.
“I like the facilities, it’s a great place to be, and they made me feel at home,” Wright said. “It’s just an overall feel, and I really like the team chemistry. They all seemed to get along really well, and I think I’ll fit right in with them.”
Three Rivers posted a disappointing 9-22 record in 2011-12, finishing 2-10 in Region XVI. It was a drastic downturn for a program that had seen plenty of success in the years prior. In recent seasons, the Lady Raiders have won six regional titles and played in the national tournament twice, finishing fifth in 2004.
Sports reporter Kevin Weaks can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 4.13.12