ENGLEWOOD, Tenn. — Her sophomore basketball season ended with a state championship and a tournament most valuable player trophy. She capped her junior year by being named Class AA Miss Basketball, and before her senior season even started, she had signed scholarship papers to continue her career at the University of Tennessee at Martin.
Yet being asked Saturday to recall one of her fondest memories as a high school player, McMinn Central's Elizabeth Masengil turned to her freshman year. Having just placed second in the state tournament, with a 63-60 loss to Gibson County, she was irked to walk into the locker room and see the runner-up trophy sitting there.
"Coach [Johnny] Morgan said he put it in there because there was nowhere else to put it, but we knew he did it to motivate us," she said. "Every day when we walked in, I would get so mad having to look at that thing, and finally -- me being the little freshman -- I told him to get it out of there.
"We laugh about it now, about how mad I was about that silver ball being in the locker room."
Masengil, who could end up being school valedictorian, added yet another milestone to her impressive resume Saturday, scoring on an inside move with 2:55 left in the third quarter against Meigs County. It gave her 2,366 points in her high school career and moved her past Julie Aderhold for most all-time in school history.
"Honestly, I never really thought about it," Masengil said about nearing the record. "It's always been my goal to help the team get as far as we can go, and if it happened it happened.
"It's a big honor. Central has had a lot of good players over the years, so the fact that my name will be up there with theirs means a lot to me and my family."
Masengil also has a chance to top 1,000 rebounds, although she has a long way to go. She currently has 858.
"I'm happy for her, but if you asked her, she'd tell you she'd trade every point for another gold ball," Morgan said. "That's the reason we're good, and the reason she breaks records. She's unselfish, yet selfish enough to know she needs to score and rebound for us to win."