|OC tandem grabs glory on hardwood |
|Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 9:15 pm |
By KEVIN WEAKS
Obion Central’s Brandi Goodman and Macy Wright
Voters from across Tennessee got an up-close introduction to Obion Central’s Macy Wright and Brandi Goodman in the opening round of the TSSAA Class AA State Tournament in March.
Northwest Tennessee knew about them long before that.
Wright, a senior guard, and Goodman, a junior center, made up what could be called the Dynamic Duo of Lady Rebel basketball the past three years. Today, they are officially among the state’s elite by being named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-State team from the double-A ranks.
Already well-established in the western region of the state, the pair introduced themselves to the other two grand divisions with a thrilling come-from-behind 69-60 win over McMinn Central in the state tourney quarterfinals.
Both scored 21 points, Wright pumping in 17 points after intermission and Goodman pouring in 14 points in the fourth quarter, to lead a run that took OC to the state championship game before falling to Christ Presbyterian Academy.
“I think that was the game that opened people’s eyes across the state,” OC head coach Lyle LaRue said. “They were already respected by people here. They were first and second in the all-district voting, which means a lot of the other coaches in our district put them one-two on their ballots.”
It was only fitting that the two would be equal in the final point totals of that state tournament game. They had spent the entire year giving the Lady Rebs an equally devastating one-two punch.
“They’re both better when the other is on the floor,” LaRue said. “They open up the floor for each other and make it hard for other teams to guard them. For both to be named all-state shows that hard work pays off. It’s good for our program. It speaks for the quality of their talent and work ethic.”
Central worked its way to the final day of the season after falling short in the regional round each of the past three years, setting a school for wins in posting a 35-3 record.
In her final season, Wright scored 15 points a game while averaging four assists, rebounds and steals during the Lady Rebs’ record run to Murfreesboro.
She 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.
Earlier this month, Wright chose to take her talents to Poplar Bluff, Mo., by signing with Three Rivers Community College.
“Macy added percentage points to her three-point shooting and free throw shooting every year she was here,” LaRue said. “That says a lot about her desire and willingness to improve her game. She’s so disruptive on defense. That’s her game. She makes it tough for other teams to run their offense. So, both her defensive play and her ability to get even better every year on offense combined to make her an all-state caliber player.”
The 6-2 Goodman, meanwhile, was nearly impossible to stop on a nightly basis under the basket, while her size and skill level on defense allowed OC to be aggressive in an up-tempo pressing style.
Goodman, who now has 1,442 career points with one year remaining, finished the year averaging a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds while also blocking three shots per game.
She followed up her stellar effort in the state quarterfinals by scoring 26 points and grabbing 12 boards in the Lady Rebels’ semifinal win over Stone Memorial.
“Brandi has that intimidation factor,” LaRue said. “We can press fullcourt, and players know they’re still going to have to shoot over her arms. Offensively, she can score and, because she’s tall, she draws a lot of double teams. That opens up other players.”
With Wright gone, Goodman will have to take her game to an even higher level next season if the Rebels hope to make another run at a state championship.
“She’s going to have to contend with even more double-teams and even triple-teams next year,” LaRue said. “So, she’ll have to score from the outside and score facing the basket, even more than she does now, and still maintain her scoring and rebounding averages. We don’t want those to go down.”
Obion Central, LaRue points out, is one of those upper echelon programs where motivation for players to work hard and do well is as close as the nearest banner or trophy case.
“We have a long line of all-state players and Miss Basketball candidates here,” the head coach said. “We have 18 district championships, seven region championships and 14 state tournament appearances. So, there’s a lot of tradition the players can look up to.”
Sports reporter Kevin Weaks may be contacted by email at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 4.24.12