Macks Creek did not waste anytime Thursday night.
The Pirates hosted Vienna and the combination of a tough 2-2-1 full court press and an efficient offense led to a 13-0 run to start the game and a lead the home team would never relinquish. The end result was a 48-31 win over the Eagles.
“It was pretty great to be on our home floor and show everybody that we are here to do something and make it work,” said Macks Creek junior Lexi Mayer who led the Pirates with 10 points. “We focus more on defense than offense. We try to make our offense come out of our defense.”
And that strategy worked out just fine for the Pirates who fueled their 13-0 run with a defense that made Vienna cough up 12 turnovers in the first quarter and 33 total for the game. The Eagles did manage to outscore Macks Creek in the second quarter and cut the deficit to as few as 10 points early in the third, but the Pirates finished as strong as they started to seal the game.
Macks Creek coach Deidre Meade would like to see that effort last all four quarters, but her team’s fight Thursday night was one the coach was proud of.
“I wish it would have lasted a little bit longer,” Macks Creek coach Deidre Meade said of the early run. “It seems we can put one quarter out and then the next quarter you never know what you are going to get. By districts, I want to have four solid quarters all strung together, but it is nice to see multiple scorers.
“The past few games we’ve had almost everybody hitting shots and that is what we need to hopefully keep rolling into districts. That is what I keep telling them, just work our way up and start peaking then.”
Both senior Shelby Willis and sophomore Caytlin Eidson finished the night with nine points each, junior Madeline Phillips put up eight and senior Mylee Hicks added seven for Macks Creek. Overall, the Pirates had seven different scorers and that was a result of simply finding the open shot.
“We try to move the ball as much as possible and just get the best shot we can. Even if we have a wide open shot, sometimes we look more to pass just to get the better one,” Mayer said of the her team’s unselfish attitude.
Meade also appreciates that balanced effort and it is a trend the coach would like to see continue. Willis, a primary scorer for Macks Creek, had recently returned from an injury and although the coach would undoubtedly like to have a fully healthy team 100 percent of the the time, the absence may have been a silver lining.
“I like to see people scoring 20, but I’d rather see everybody scoring eight or 10 and evening that out,” Meade noted. “I feel like more people are getting involved and I attribute that to Shelby getting hurt and people having to step up that month she was gone. I hate to see her hurt, but I really think it has helped some of them come along and now that she is back, we can all better from it.
“It is good to see Shelby back out there and I think she has helped, not only physically being out there, but I think she is a big role model and leader and I think that has helped out a lot too.”
Macks Creek was scheduled to visit Wheatland on Friday and will host Hermitage on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Both being potential district opponents, Meade certainly doesn’t mind the schedule if it can help the Pirates make a run when the games really count in the postseason.
“Our last seven games have been district opponents so I feel like we’ve played districts over and over, but I feel like we are getting ready for districts seeing all these people and knowing what we have to work towards,” the coach said. “We know what we have to work on and are going to use the rest of the season until the postseason to get it right so hopefully we’ll get there.”
For Mayer, it will require nothing less than a complete and full team effort like Thursday night.
“Work as a team, keep that non-selfish mentality and give all we have 100 percent of the time,” the junior stated.