Humbly, but confidently like a good 16-year-old athlete should, Maddye Rice knows that she is setting standards that not only future McCracken Lady Mustangs will try to meet, but she will try to surpass in her junior and senior years.
"I realize I've had some success and have done pretty well," said the 5-foot-6 guard. "I definitely think I can set some records if I keep going."
Rice started the year on the soccer field playing forward and ended that season leading the team with 26 goals and helping the Lady Mustangs win the school's first district championship in any sport.
She added five assists in the 12 games she played as McCracken County ended the year 12-8-1.
On the basketball court, she's averaging 19.5 points a game as the starting point guard after a freshman season that saw her average 16.7 points at Heath High. Rice has been starting on varsity since eighth grade
Rice scored 13 points in McCracken County's 60-58 win over Webster County in the second game of the Mustang Madness' opening session on Thursday, which lifted McCracken to 9-7 this season. The Lady Mustangs play at 10:30 this morning against Massac County.
Rice said she tries to use one thing to help her on the soccer field and the basketball court.
"I try to go off my speed in both," she said. "In soccer, they feed me the ball up top and I try to go off speed there. In basketball, I use my speed to try to go to the hole and score. My speed is something I definitely think helps me out."
It's mastering the differences between the two sports that's allowed her to stand out.
"You have to be more patient in soccer. It's more about the opportunity there," Rice said. "You have to wait for the right moment to attack and go for it. In basketball, you have to run the offense and get with others. It's more continuous. In soccer, I have to wait up top, wait for what's happening and then go. As the point guard in basketball, I kind of run it first and present my own opportunities, where in soccer I have to wait for my opportunities."
That type of mindset makes Rice the kind of player coaches love to have, and McCracken County girls basketball coach Josh Barnett is certainly happy he has someone like her on the team.
"The big thing about her even beyond basketball is what a pleasure it has been to be around her," he said. "She's a great kid and is a joy to be around.
"The coaching staff loves to be around her. The players love to be around her. She just comes in every day, goes about her business, works her rear end off and plays her hardest. You can just see how deflated she is after a loss and how she hates to get beat. She's such a competitor, and I think it's one of her best qualities."
Call James D. Horne, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8661 or follow @bigdog_jamesd on Twitter.
posted on: Sunday, January 12, 2014 8:32 PM
Title: All around