When Katie Mayock’s father showed her a photograph of the scorebook from her brother Angus’ 36-point explosion in Conestoga’s 72-69 win at Lower Merion on Dec. 20, she couldn’t believe it. The guy who spent last year playing rugged defense and setting screens – okay, there was that three-pointer against Neshaminy – had set the scoring record in Kobe Bryant Gymnasium?
“I saw the picture and said, ‘That’s Angus? Oh, my goodness,’” Katie says with a laugh.
The 6-foot-4 Pioneer senior had taken advantage of his teammates’ ability to break LM’s press and had enjoyed the offensive explosion of his career. “I got a lot of one-one-one looks in the post, and I couldn’t miss,” Angus says. “I made some lucky hook shots and a floater that I still don’t know how it went in.”
Angus hasn’t approached that output since, in large part because he missed almost all of January with an ankle injury. But he is a key cog for the 16-4 Pioneers (12-2 Central League), who are hoping to make a return to the PIAA state tournament. Katie, a 6-foot-2 junior for the 19-1 (13-1 CL) Conestoga girls’ basketball team, has been spending her free time considering offers from various college programs, including several Ivy and Patriot League suitors.
It shouldn’t be all that surprising that the siblings are enjoying hardwood prosperity. Their mother, Alix, played for Jim Foster at Saint Joseph’s and has been a successful boys and girls coach at the youth and middle school levels. “She put us ahead of the curve,” Angus says. Their father, Mark, was a three-sport standout at Haverford School and earned a scholarship to play QB at Boston College, but a torn ACL – suffered while playing pickup basketball – torpedoed his gridiron career.
From Left: Katie Mayock; Angus Mayock
Katie has been a strong inside force for the Pioneers, scoring close to the basket and piling up the rebounds while enjoying herself immensely in her first season back at Conestoga. She left the school after her freshman year to play at Notre Dame but returned in September, largely because she missed her friends.
This season, she has focused on becoming more assertive on court, which hasn’t been easy. Easygoing off the court and heretofore deferential on it, Katie is assuming more of a leadership role and eschewing the quick pass to look for her shot more often.
“I guess I have to trust myself more,” she says. “I work hard, and I know I can do a lot things on the court, but I don’t trust myself. I have to say, ‘Yes, I can do more’ and then go and do it.”
In the fall, Angus will head to Connecticut to play baseball, thanks to a strong performance last summer in travel showcase tournaments, when he hit 89 on the radar gun and began to attract Division I attention. But he says that he has always liked basketball best and has become more of an offensive threat for the Pioneers this year. His 36-point explosion was fun – “It’s nice to brag about,” he says – but Angus is more satisfied with the Pioneers’ teamwork this season.
“Last year, we played a lot of iso ball,” he says. “This year, we are passing the ball more. We get it to the open guy and let him do the damage. It’s the most unselfish team I’ve ever played for. It’s a lot of fun.”
Like his sister, Angus credits a growth in confidence for his increased offense. He no longer worries about being taken out of the game if he misses a few shots. If things aren’t going well for him, he’ll “let someone else try”.
Both Pioneers teams are preparing for the post-season, first as part of the Central League tournament and then as highly seeded District One participants. Expect both Mayocks to have plenty of influence on Conestoga’s fortunes and to continue enjoying each other’s success and status as the area’s top brother-sister tandem.
EL HOMBRE SEZ: Any Eagles fan who watched the Patriots’ Super Bowl triumph should have recognized the difference between New England and the local side. Despite falling behind by 25 in the third quarter, the Pats never quit and fashioned the most amazing comeback in NFL post-season history. The team’s collection of winners delivered championship-caliber plays again and again throughout the comeback. Those are the type of players Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas should be seeking in free agency and the draft over the next few months, and the culture head coach Doug Pederson should try to create. It’s about the team and its success. The more people an organization has with a commitment to that, the better its chances of success. Oh, yeah. That Brady fellow is something else, too.