compassion 15Dec20 2 

As the 2020-21 basketball season begins for the McCurtain Lady Bulldogs, memories of a trip to the Class B state tournament remain a constant reminder of the commitment to the game plan for 6’0 senior center, Piper Reed.  
 
“Hold the rope, like you’re holding on to one of your teammates that are hanging off a cliff. NEVER let go no matter how bad it starts to hurt,” said Reed recalling the meaningful words spoken in the locker room. “We were down 15 points to Hammon at halftime and feeling beat down. Coach (Dillon) Monday challenged me and my teammates to trust each other, and hold the rope!”
 
The emotional challenge inspired Reed and teammates to a second half rally to force overtime and victory by 11 points in the win or go home Area tournament contest and was the energy that two wins later sent McCurtain to the final eight team bracket in last year’s Class B state basketball tournament. 
 
And for Reed, now in her final season, that challenge remains while knowing there’s no promise of playing the next game. “It’s my senior season and I want the coronavirus to be gone so we can practice and know we’re going to play our games,” Reed admits. “We just have to rely upon each other, the adrenaline of the game and our fans ecstatic cheering and support.”
 
Reed, who is often called “Big” by friends and teammates, goes old school when choosing her favorite player. “Larry Bird is my guy. He was an amazing athlete with a great attitude and a will to win no matter the challenge.”
 
And when describing herself, Reed points to some of the same traits as her athletic hero. “If you let me choose three words, I’d say caring, spontaneous and determined,” explained Reed. “Like Bird, when someone says I can’t do something, I’m gonna prove them wrong and get it done.”
 
And through her commitment to succeed, Reed is certain to leave a legacy of footsteps for others to follow. “I want to be remembered as a player with good sportsmanship and someone who by my example inspired others to always do their best, to keep working hard when the going gets tough.”

Or in the words of coach Monday…HOLD THE ROPE!

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