Terrin Willie increases efficiency as a senior

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KIRTLAND — Terrin Willie can give opposing defenders headaches when he is attacking the rim.

The Kirtland Central senior shooting guard, who previously did damage as a jump shooter, has the quickness to blow right by foes for a quick layup. He also can maneuver his way to the basket and score off penetration left and right by extending his arms and shifting his body accordingly.

“He’s definitely a pretty player to watch, too, when he does it. He’s so fast getting there, but then he can just hang in the air. It reminds me of the old Super Mario Brothers games (and) Princess Peach, where she just glides around everywhere,” coach Brian Dowdy said.

Willie has been even more proactive driving to the basket this season, so he uses that attribute to his advantage.

“It’s really a plus side for my team because it allows things to start opening up a lot more,” Willie said. “My jump shot’s still there, (but) now it’s more about attacking the basket. I can pretty much do what I want with my athleticism. Driving has allowed me to get more physical.”

Also a solid passer, Willie won’t hesitate to dish the ball out to nearby teammates whenever he doesn’t quite get the shot he wants. And if that teammate doesn’t finish, Willie can swoop in and score off a put-back.

“By then, I’m sure the defense is already collapsed in a bit. So, you get a lot more opportunities when someone drives in,” Willie said.

After generating just 65 offensive rebounds in 29 games last year, Willie’s already up to 45 offensive boards in 17 games this year. He’s a bit more persistent in trying to get points off second- and third-chance opportunities.

“We want him attacking the rim every chance he gets,” Dowdy said. “He gets fouled a lot, and he’s finished a lot more (shots), too. He’s to the rim, and you don’t even know what happened.”

Willie's scoring is up from 9.1 points a game last year to 11.4 this year. His shooting percentage is up from 41 percent last year to 52 percent this year. All those trips to the basket keep opening doors for him and the offense as a whole.

The Broncos (11-8, 2-1) have won 10 of their games when Willie scored in double figures or shot at least 40 percent — games in which he had a decent performance inside.

“My scoring has been a lot more consistent. My shots have been a lot smarter; I drive to the basket instead of taking reckless jumpers,” Willie said.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.

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