This season Mackenzie Raizor has sacrificed scoring for victories.
After pacing the Shelby County girls basketball team in points for each of the past three seasons, when the Rockets averaged 16.7 wins, the 6-foot senior forward has seen her scoring dip but her squad’s victory total rise this winter.
“We’ve been more successful, and I think it has a lot to do with Mackenzie going away from points, and she’s been fine with it,” first-year Shelby County coach Jason Holland said. “She leads us in charges taken and I’ve been pleased with her defensive effort, her assists and steals.”
Raizor averaged 10 points per game as a freshman and 12.4 ppg as a sophomore (the Rockets won 16 games both years), then averaged 13.5 ppg last season, when Shelby went 18-10 and advanced to the Eighth Region Tournament for the first time since the school split in 2010.
Raizor, a four-year starter for Shelby County who was recently named to the all-region team for the third year in a row, is averaging 8.6 points and 6.4 rebounds this season — narrowly behind junior Justus Martin in both categories but ahead of her twin sister, Savannah — for the Rockets (23-5).
Shelby County lost three of its first four games — to region rival Simon Kenton as well as Holmes, which is No. 3 in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings, and No. 6 Henry Clay — before reeling off victories in 22 of its last 24 games. Included in that stretch was a win over 30th District-rival Anderson County that snapped a 10-game losing streak — which had spanned almost seven years — to the Bearcats. Monday night the Rockets will meet host Spencer County at 7 p.m. in the 30th District Tournament in Taylorsville. Raizor & Co. have their sights set on the program’s first district title since 2008, and then its first region title since 2007.
When did you start playing basketball?
I was 6. My dad really liked basketball, and I really liked it (once I started playing).
What has this season been like?
It was a little rocky at first, we were getting used to the new system, but after the first three losses we went on a really long winning streak and beat some ranked teams.
You and your twin sister, Savannah, both signed with Milligan (Tenn.) College, what made you choose that school?
I really like coach (Rich) Aubrey, and I wanted to go to a Christian college and it’s a really strong Christian college.
You and Savannah are going to room together at Milligan, do you share a room now?
We shared a room until we were in first grade, now we have different rooms. She’s a little too messy.
Who’s older, you or Savannah?
Savannah by two minutes.
What did the win over Anderson County earlier this season mean to the team?
After beating Anderson I think we just got a lot more confidence. It was good, because we used to get smacked (by them). I remember at the end, coach Holland put Kelli (Armstrong) in and we had all five seniors on the floor. We never really get to play together so that was fun.
You haven’t averaged as many points this season, but your team is having lots of success, how’s that been?
Last year I started at the two, this year I’m playing more of the four-five position, that’s been a little more of an adjustment for me. We’re all scoring pretty even, you can’t really key on one player, so that’s been good.
Have you done anything fun this week in the snow?
Me and Savannah had to shovel snow (Tuesday), but it didn’t really do anything because now (Wednesday) there’s another couple inches.
What’s the goal for this season?
Win region. It’s been coach Holland’s goal since the day he came and he’s passed it on to us.
MACKENZIE RAIZOR UP CLOSE
School: Shelby County High School.
Student-athlete: In addition to being a standout for the girls’ basketball team Raizor, who has a 4.0 GPA and participated in the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program last summer, is also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, Link Crew and Diversity Club at SCHS.
Family: Mackenzie, 17, lives with mother, Missy, and dad, John, twin sister, Savannah, 17 and younger sister Maddy, 12.
Basketball coach Jason Holland: We started 1-3 and we were averaging about 35 turnovers a game, but (our win streak since then) has had a lot to do with Mackenzie. I’ve played her at the two-guard, but she can play about any position on the floor. It’s taken away from her scoring but it’s helped the team.