griffin photo

Marshall’s Maycee Griffin dribbles the ball down the court in a game earlier this season.

Reality of it being her senior year is sinking in with Maycee Griffin.

“A lot of my friends are happy about it but I’m kind of sad,” the point guard for the Lady Mavs said.

Griffin plans to attend college but she’s not sure where just yet, nor has she decided on a major just yet. She’s first focusing on the remainder of her high school career, which includes basketball.

“I think we’ve definitely gotten better as a team and we played well together,” Griffin said. “I’m hoping we’ll make the playoffs. I believe we can and I know our team believes we can.”

“Experience, which is needed with this group,” Lady Mavs’ head coach Eric Woods said when asked what Griffin brings to the table. “Even though we have several returning starters, her leadership and her experience that she’s been able to provide have been helpful for us as we go through the season and figure out who we are as a team.”

“Me and Kay Kay (Jones) are co-captains now but it’s kind of the same,” Griffin said. “I think both of us have always been leaders on the team but we have other girls who are leaders too. We have a lot of leadership.”

Griffin said she leads by example and Woods added she’s becoming more of a vocal leader as well.

“She’s more a lead-by-example but she’s been more vocal within the last month or so,” Woods said.

“I’ve challenged and encouraged her to be more vocal and to have a positive effect on the team, not just through actions but through words because it’s important that both of them line up and she’s done a much better job over the last month-and-a-half or so.”

One reason Griffin is sad about being a senior is because she wants to continue playing basketball, a sport she has played since she was 5, and a sport that has taught her valuable life lessons throughout the years.

“If you don’t believe in yourself, it’s not going to happen,” she said. “The only person who stands in your way is yourself.”

Her favorite high school basketball memory came last year in the district opener.

“We played Nacogdoches away and we went into overtime,” she recalls. “I hit the last-second shot to go into overtime and then we won our first district game of the year.”

Her favorite moment this year was coming out on top of the Spring Hill Tournament.

“Winning the Spring Hill Tournament was a really good thing because we just played the best basketball that we’ve played in a long time within those three games and that championship game, it just clicked for us,” she said. “We went on a roll and it was a really good feeling for all of us.”

The Lady Mavs, who are currently 8-9 overall and 0-2 against district opponents will be home today when they play host to Jacksonville as they look to earn their first district win.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” Woods said. “They were the preseason pick to be the best team in our district. I’m expecting a challenging game. I think this weekend tournament really helped our team to not only continue to find us as a team but I think it also gave us a lot of confidence to know that we can play at a high level.

“I think we were able to work out a lot of different kinks with different aspects of our game. We’ve been able to handle pressure to be able to finish games, which I thought we did. It’s going to be a challenge against Jacksonville. They have a really good team, really good players and a lot of experience but it should be fun.”

Griffin looks forward to being back home and hopes to win for the Marshall fans.

“We think about it a lot,” Griffin said. “The program has really turned around since I was a freshman. We used to have 20 people in the stands and now a lot more people come to watch us. I think we feel the town’s support a lot. So it’s important to come out and play really hard, especially at home.”

That’s another motivational factor for Griffin – to help turn a program around that has struggled in recent years.

“That’s a big deal, especially for my fellow teammates who are also seniors because we were here when we went 0-12 in district and now we’re continuously getting better,” she said. “It’s been a really big deal for us to change people’s perception of us and know that we’re a good basketball program.”

“I was telling the girls here as we were closing practice, this is their program and they’re putting their stamp on the program,” Woods said. “The first thing is you have to commit to the process and you’ve got to come put the work in day in and day out and know that nobody is going to hand you anything.

“Nobody is going to hand us the championship. They’re not going to hand us the win. We’ve got to realize how to put the work ethic in that will give us the chance to be successful and help us reach our goals.”

All-in-all, Griffin knows the time is ticking and she hopes to make the most of what’s left of her senior year.

“I was thinking the other day on the break how my first semester flew by and now I have one more semester of high school and that’s crazy,” she said. “It definitely flew by.”

Today’s action will begin with the girls JV game at 10 a.m. The girls’ varsity game is slated for an 11:30 p.m. start.