The Baker Orange

Macy Wallisch has always focused on defense

Story by Brittney Diehm, Writer

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One player stands out from the rest on the Baker University women’s basketball team. Senior center Macy Wallisch likes to focus her attention on the defensive end.

The 6-3 senior center is averaging 3.0 blocks per game along with 8.25 rebounds and only 2.3 turnovers. Wallisch is second in NAIA Division I in total blocks with 96 and is the all-time leader in blocked shots for Baker with 307.

Not many opposing post players can shoot over her or bust through her to get to the basket. Wallisch has been a defensive-minded player since she started playing the game.

“I focus more on the defensive side of the court,” Wallisch said. “This is partially because that was my strength all through high school and still is here in college.”

Wallisch’s defensive focus has not gone unrecognized. She recently won her third straight Heart of America Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Defensive Player of the Year award. Wallisch was also a first-team selection on this year’s all-conference team.

“I feel like defense is so important especially at the post position,” Wallisch said. “I am guarding the basket and protecting the paint so that the opponent can’t drive and score easy points. My goal is to try to beat them to the spot so that they can’t finish their post move or their drive to the basket. I also try to anticipate their shot which is how I get blocks.”

Although Wallisch likes to focus her energy on the defensive end, she more than carries her weight on offense. Wallisch averages 10 points per game and is shooting 70 percent from the free-throw line.

“My offensive strategies are to take advantage of my size,” Wallisch said. “Most of the post players I go up against are shorter than me, so I try to use my size advantage for scoring opportunities. A lot of teams double-team me, so I also look for the open person usually on the backside.”

The Wildcats will surely miss her next year, but they’re not done with her yet.

The ‘Cats are slated to play the Columbia College Cougars at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday in the first round of the NAIA national tournament at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence, Missouri.

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