Girls Basketball: Maine South asking Mackenzie Duffy to drive to the basket

Story Image Skokie-Shelley-Rae Moody Niles North (left) battles Mackenzie Duffy Maine South for the loose ball. Girls basketball regional final: Maine South vs. Niles North. | Joe Cyganowski ~ For Sun Times Media

Updated: June 12, 2012 4:54PM

Mackenzie Duffy is the best pure shooter Mark Smith has ever coached.

Now, the Maine South coach is looking to get the incoming senior to be more of a complete scorer.

“She shoots a very high percentage on three-pointers for us,” Smith said. “One of the things we want her to do is to score from other parts of the floor. More than half of her points last season came from beyond the arc. We want to get her slashing to the basket more.”

Duffy, one of three varsity veterans back for the Hawks, understands what is expected of her this upcoming season.

“I definitely want to improve my overall game,” she said. “It will make my game that much better, if I can take the ball to the basket more. We are losing some guards from last season who did that, so I have to pick up my game and contribute in different ways.”

Maine South, which has captured three regional championships in a row and finished third in the state in 2011, started its summer sessions Monday. The Hawks head to the University of Wisconsin team camp this weekend.

Along with Duffy, seniors Jacqui Grant and Regan Carmichael are seasoned players who will lead the Hawks this summer.

Carmichael assumes the role of point guard after Michelle Maher played the position for three seasons. Grant recently verbally committed to play at Illinois.

“Me, Regan and Jacqui have been on the team so long we have to show the younger girls what it’s all about,” Duffy said. “It’s definitely a bigger leadership role now.”

Duffy should be ready as a senior.

“She’s a clutch player,” Smith said. “She’s had some of her biggest games against our toughest opponents. She carried us to the state tournament two seasons ago when we beat Proviso East when Michelle was hurt.”

Also this summer, Duffy hopes to make a decision on college. Smith said she’s capable of playing Division I, but she’s also one of Maine South’s top students.

“College basketball is definitely something I would like to do, but I am looking for a school with good academics first,” Duffy said. “I’m looking at some Division I schools and a lot of Division III schools. I’m not sure about anything right now.”

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