Weatherford Democrat

Sports

March 10, 2013

Lankford shooting high at ACU

Weatherford grad reaps kudos in junior-year campaign — hoping team success can continue in postseason

By GREG WEBB

Mackenzie Lankford, popularly monikered simply as “Mack” during her days of inhabiting the Weatherford High classrooms and basketball courts (as well as volleyball, track and even a softball stint), is continuing her winning ways in the classroom, and cager venues, for Abilene Christian University.

Lankford, in her junior year playing at guard for the Lady Wildcats, has translated her personal success to the ACU women’s team, who finished as co-champions of the Lone Star Conference (LSC), recording a 16-4 conference mark. The fortunes of this postseason will represent the Abilene university’s swan song in the Division II LSC, as ACU will make its jump to the Division I Southland Conference beginning in the fall.

Lankford has spent years on the court, hoping to achieve the level of competition she now experiences. Reaching the heights of a conference championship has not disappointed.

“We went to conference tournament my freshman year,” Lankford said, “but we barely got in and lost in the first round. The whole experience of our team working so hard to win a conference championship and going into postseason has just been so gratifying, especially since this is the last year in [the LSC].” 

Lankford’s distinction as the Wildcats’ leading scorer this season barely scratches the surface of her value to the ACU squad. A force on defense as well, she led in the steals category, with nearly two takeaways per game.

Earlier this week, and for the third year in a row, Mack was named to the LSC’s All-Conference First Team. And gauging from past year’s post-conference seasons, she likely has more recognition coming her way.

Last year’s postseason awards included Daktronics’ Third-team All-American and a First Team nod on the All-South-Central Region roster. In her freshman year, besides earning First Team status, she was selected the LSC Freshman of the Year.

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