One player doesn’t make or break a team, but it helps when you have one of the best female hoopsters in the province on board for the journey.
Holly Mackey could be the answer to better days ahead for the Corner Brook High Titans.
Mackey, a Level 1 student, is a rookie starting forward for the Corner Brook High Titans 4A female basketball team competing in the Elite Eight Hall of Fame Cup basketball tournament being played in St. John’s this weekend.
It is the first appearance for the Titans female basketball team at the Hall of Fame Cup since 2014 when they went in ranked No. 7.
Titans coach Dean Barker believes Mackey’s presence has a lot to do with his team getting back to the Elite Eight tournament. He insists she’s one of the best players in the province as a member of the 2018 provincial 17U female team and a versatile athlete who has made everybody around her a better player.
According to Barker, this year’s edition of the Titans is in good shape because there are a number of girls who can put the ball through the net. The team has more scoring potential and that’s something the team struggled with all season despite working hard to be better players.
It’s not every day that a rookie comes into the mix and has a positive impact on the older players on the team, but Barker has been impressed with how Mackey has been able to motivate her teammates to push themselves to take their game up another notch.
“She changes the whole dynamics for us,” he said. “She’s a dog for basketball, really, at the end of the day.”
Mackey is in the gym six or seven days a week. It’s her favourite thing to do and she has been rewarded for her efforts with the honour of playing for her province on the national stage last year so she’s eager to find out how the Titans will stack up against the best female basketball teams in the province.
Mackey is happy to be back in the Elite Eight tournament and looks forward to playing some dandy players from other strong teams, some of those girls were her teammates on the provincial team last summer.
She figures the Titans got back to the tournament based on the improvement the team has shown from season to the next and she’s hoping they can give a good account of themselves to show they belong.
“We got a few big girls so we should be able to put up a fight against some of the teams,” she said.
She’s a big presence on the court and she expects to spend a fair amount of time battling around the net as a post player when the Titans open up the tournament Friday afternoon.
“I’m going to be down under in the paint most of the time and taking on the bigger girls so hopefully I can get some blocks and rebounds, and put up some points,” she said.
She is expected to play big minutes and be a factor in the team’s success, but that’s something she’s embracing because she’s always up for a challenge as she forges ahead with a vision of turning things around for the Titans.