Shawn Huntington, the Randolph Lady Cardinals' head coach, admits to feeling a little queasy when watching McKenna Maycock play basketball.
"It's just so effortless," he said. "Every shot she takes seems to hit dead-center of the hoop, even when there is someone in her face - it's just boom, boom, boom."
He added with a laugh, "It's sickening for someone like me, who can barely make a layup sometimes."
McKenna Maycock averaged 27.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 4.0 steals to lead the Randolph Lady Cardinals to a 19-4 record and a third straight Section 6 Class C title.
P-J file photo by Scott Kindberg
If that's how her own coach feels - though Huntington's "queasiness" is of the decidedly positive variety - imagine how opposing coaches must feel.
The short answer? Not good, not good at all.
Cassadaga Valley coach Mark Petersen summed up his colleagues' collective feeling, and exasperation, rather well in late December after the star sophomore lit up the Lady Cougars for 30 points and 14 rebounds.
"I tried everything on defense (to stop her)," he lamented.
Everyone did, coach; nothing worked.
"The thing about her is that she's so versatile," Huntington said. "She can play all five positions. She can shoot the 3, can take you off the bounce, she can out-jump you or take you on the block. There's other very good players in the area, but they don' t have that unbelievable versatility.
"I'm just glad I don't have to game plan for her."
It was, arguably, that versatility that was the driving force behind the sophomore's stellar season - her best in four years in Lady Cardinal red. For there were questions heading into the year as to how the squad, and particularly Maycock, would react to being without another of the area's all-time best, Marah Maycock.
"I wasn't sure if (McKenna) would have that leadership piece just yet," Huntington said. "I knew it was in her, but didn't know if she could bring it out, and we needed that (this season) to be (successful)."
Turns out, it wasn't an issue in the slightest.
"From the first day she took the bull by the horns," Huntington said. "She works so well with the team and wasn't afraid to say something when things weren't going right."
Seamlessly stepping into her new roles as both the team leader and the first-option (as opposed to previously being option 1A when sister Marah was on the squad), Maycock didn't suffer at all from the increased attention and led the Lady Cardinals to a 19-4 record, a third straight Section 6 Class C title and yet another Far West Regional appearance.
Along the way, she averaged 27.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 4.0 steals; earned Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 2 player of the year honors; was an all-Western New York second-team selection; and last, but not least, was named to the second team of the New York State Sportswriters Association Class C all-state squad.
"She had to step right in and be the primary ball handler, (whereas) she was secondary last year," Huntington said. "I didn't know how she would react to the attention, and they tried their hardest to stop her, but she just turned it up."
Maycock opened the season with a 32-point, nine-steal and six-assist output, then scored 30 in four of her next six games.
That was just the beginning.
Over the next 10 games she recorded at least a double-double, three times hitting the 30-point mark and once reaching a school-record tying 40 during a crucial, overtime league victory over rival Frewsburg. During that Frewsburg game, which clinched for Randolph a share of the Division 2 title, Maycock also hauled in 16 boards.
"She scored in the 30s the first couple of games and I thought, 'Ah, it's just a fluke,'" Huntington said. "Then she did it again and again, and I said, 'Oh, this is her average.'
"She was as consistent as you could wish her to be."
Her season-long hot streak continued into the playoffs, as well; most notable was her 42-point, 15-rebound and 11-assist triple-double against Tapestry, which was a school record for points in a single game.
"She was just unstoppable," Huntington said. "It was a little crazy. And when someone scores that much you don't expect them to have that assists piece, too, but she was well-rounded. That's just good basketball and it made her teammates better."
Maycock, who last week made a verbal commitment to play college basketball at Division 1 St. Bonaventure, now sits in 23rd place all-time for career scoring in Section 6 history with 1,669 points.
"She works so hard, and it's paying off for her," Huntington said. "I only see her getting better (from here on out)."
In other words, two years from now it's a virtual lock that the name McKenna Maycock, this year's Post-Journal player of the year, will appear in block letters atop the all-time scoring list, ahead of St. Mary's Crystle Marion (2,527 points).
As area coaches are already keenly aware, there's just no stopping her.