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Collinsville's McCarthy makes the most of her senior year

December 5, 2012
Collinsville High School

  Scott Marion STLhighschoolsports.comstltoday.com                                            


Collinsville's McCarthy makes the most of her senior year


Basketball may not be Katie McCarthy's No. 1 sport, but she's making an  impact this season for Collinsville.

McCarthy, a 5-foot-9 senior, is averaging eight points per game for the  Kahoks, who were 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the Southwestern Conference heading into  Tuesday's home game against East St. Louis.

"Last year at this time she was sitting on the bench because she was  injured," Collinsville coach Lori Billy said. "She really wasn't healthy for us  until about the middle of January. This year she's taken control and taken her  senior leadership role to heart.

"She's kind of become the floor general - she's the one that gets the girls  moving and gets them into place. She's very good with the rest of the team and  they look up to her and respect her.

"Her shot is not dropping the way we want it to, but her 3-point shooting has  improved tremendously. Defensively she's gotten a ton better and she's learned  to handle the ball in key situations for us."

McCarthy was a middle hitter for the Collinsville volleyball team, which had  seven seniors and was 23-12 overall and 5-2 in the SWC. The basketball team has  three seniors - McCarthy, Karla Halde and Brooke Meyer - but Halde is the lone  returning starter.

"We have a freshman starting plus a sophomore point guard and a lot of times  we have another freshman on the court," said McCarthy, who scored 15 points in  14 varsity games as a junior. "Sometime it's a little rough out there, but we're  getting better. We're getting experience and by the end of the season I think it  will pay off."

Collinsville is coming off a 59-10 loss at Edwardsville on Thursday. The  Tigers (5-0) are the defending conference champions and were the Class 4A  runner-up last season.

"They're a very good team and we just have to move on from that game,"  McCarthy said. "Even though the score didn't show it, we stuck with it in our  hearts and played hard until the end.

"Our defense has been pretty impressive, which again didn't show (against  Edwardsville), but we've worked on getting where we need to be on every  possession."

It took a while for McCarthy to make the adjustment from volleyball to  basketball.

"My shot is a little off still, but I've gotten back into the basketball  state of mind," said McCarthy, who plays club volleyball. "I played a little bit  of select basketball with Kayla Murphy and Shaye Barrett (who graduated after  last season), but that's pretty much it. I've never really focused my offseason  on basketball.

"I'd have to say volleyball probably comes a little more naturally to me. I  haven't played as much basketball, but I'm still able to perform it to the best  of my ability. I've struggled with my shot so far this year, but my 3-point  shooting is usually the key that I've put most of my focus into.

"Being a senior leader out there along with Karla, every time we get the  ball, we need to put up points on the board."

McCarthy was considering playing volleyball at a small college, but is now  more likely to attend a larger school and focus on academics.

"I think I'm either going to go to the University of Kansas or the University  of Illinois," McCarthy said. "I'm very competitive and I like to win everything  I do and I'm going to miss that part of it, but those are big schools and I can  still play club or intramurals.

"I'm going to major in elementary education. I really like kids and I'm very  vocal and energetic. I'm a leader naturally on the court and I feel like I am  off the court too. I think that will transition well into a classroom.

"It gives me a little more of a drive to be successful this season knowing  it's last time I'm putting on that purple jersey. It's going to be a little  different not having that next year."


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