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Myers honored for career with Lady Bears

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By John Shindlebower

 

MacKenzie Myers has played her last basketball game for the Spencer County Lady Bears, but her name won’t soon be forgotten. the six-year varsity player finished her senior season a couple of weeks ago as the program’s all-time leading scorer and a banner will now hang in the Lloyd W. Mullins Gymnasium to mark the accomplishment.The banner was unveiled following Myers’ last home game in late February and the award caught her by surprise. “They kept the secret from me so well. I was shocked,” she said. “I couldn’t believe they had went out of their way to make such a lasting honor for me.”
She walked to center court, joined by her parents and her sister, Ally, and wiped the tears from her eyes as she held the banner. “I hate crying in front of a big group of people,” she said. “It will be a memory that I carry with me all of my life.”Myers has been a mainstay for the Lady Bears since the 7th grade when she made the varsity team and started seeing significant minutes from the very beginning. Looking back, Myers said the experience was trying, but valuable.
“It was very nerve racking. I felt like I had a huge weight on my shoulders to be a big factor for the team. I knew I would come up against bigger and better competition, but I knew competing against them would only make me better.” And it did.Myers quickly established herself as the key offensive weapon for the Lady Bears, a role she kept throughout her varsity career. She finished with 1,857 points and 1,185 rebounds and provided key leadership during her final two seasons.
Head Coach David Marion has always had high praise for Myers and said when he took over two years ago, he told her he was going to challenge her. He took her aside and said he was going to push her so hard that she would beg him to stop. She never did.Her efforts have been noticed by younger players as well. In her senior season, Myers saw at least four other middle school players added to the varsity roster, including two who gained starting roles. Alyssa Howie, a 7th grader, and Lauren Lambdin, an 8th grader, were thrown into the fire of varsity competition much like Myers was years before. Myers was able to guide the youngsters.
“They knew they had big shoes to fill and what Coach Marion expected out of them. I told them their very first game to play to their potential, take a deep breath and to go to the restroom,” she joked.“It’s crazy to think how well all of the middle schoolers adjusted this year. I’m so proud of them and I know their futures are very bright.”
Marion said he’s never been big on individual honors, but said Myers’ leadership and accomplishment warranted recognition, and he hopes it will motivate young players who follow. So does Myers.Myers said setting the scoring mark was in the back of her mind early on as she began getting so many minutes and had success as a 7th grader, but her goals were never individual. “My biggest goal was to make my team better every year. Finishing as the all-time leading scorer was a huge accomplishment, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaches,” she said.
“I hope some girls look at my banner as motivation. I know my girl Alyssa Howie is hungry to beat my record and I can only push her to do so. I can only push any of them to do so. I’d love for all of them to beat it, but most importantly, to remember to push not only themselves to get better every day, but their teammates as well.
Last month, Myers was again named an All-8th Region player and is one of 40 seniors from across Kentucky invited to try out for the Lion’s Eye Foundation Kentucky-Indiana all-star series. She has signed to play basketball next year at St. Catherine College and said she will be attending classes this summer in order to get in some summer work with coaches. Her plan is to major in Education and become a science teacher.