03/20/10 — All-Area: Eastern Wayne's McIntyre is girls' player of the year

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All-Area: Eastern Wayne's McIntyre is girls' player of the year

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 20, 2010 11:06 PM

The center of attention for three years as the primary ball handler for Eastern Wayne's girls' basketball team, Tiarra McIntyre learned how to take over a game.

During her senior season, the multi-talented scorer learned how to dominate without controlling every possession.

For her efforts McIntyre has been named the 2010 Goldsboro News-Argus All-Area girls' player of the year.

McIntyre led the Warriors to a 7-14 record that included a berth in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A state playoffs. Northern Guilford bested Eastern Wayne in the opening round despite 16 points and two assists from McIntyre.

"This year was definitely an adjustment for me," McIntyre said. "I think we started off kind of in the wrong direction, but by the end of the season we were playing as a team and playing pretty well."

Getting to know first-year head coach Tyrone Wagner and his new offensive style took some time for the entire squad, but was especially trying for McIntyre. She had to let go of the reins at the point guard position and take over as the team's shooting guard.

"For three years, she almost always had the ball in her hands," said Wagner. "At first you could tell that it was hard for her, but by the end of the year she got a good feel for it and really turned into a leader for this team in another way."

Despite the ups and downs, McIntyre was thankful for her coach's decision to take her off the ball.

"I feel like I am a more natural shooting guard that can handle the ball if I need to," said McIntyre. "I am grateful that coach Wagner decided to move me around and let me become more of a threat on drives to the basket."

In a senior season full of special moments, one game stuck out in McIntyre's mind. The Warriors' victory over North Lenoir in the opening round of the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference tournament was more memorable than others for a very unselfish reason.

"I thought we played very hard as a team that night," said McIntyre. "It was great to get a win like that, and it was special because we played together and gave a great effort."

Perhaps the single-best individual performance of the girls' basketball season also belonged to McIntyre. During a January matchup against county rival Southern Wayne, McIntyre poured in 25 points and the Warriors scored their first conference victory of the year.

McIntyre scored in double figures 19 times during her senior campaign.

With college on the horizon next fall, McIntyre is still unsure of what the future might bring.

"I am still looking at offers and trying to plan the next step," she said. "I may end up at a junior college or I might go into the United States Air Force."

No matter what the final decision is, McIntyre will certainly be a leader.