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Wood quietly and consistently emerging as an offensive star for Lady Eagles


SPRINGFIELD — For a player whose launch at the varsity level last season was very loud, Nixa’s Taylor Wood has gone under the radar while establishing herself as a super sophomore this winter.

In the Lady Eagles’ District semifinal loss to Kickapoo last March, Wood subbed in for the first time over the final two minutes as an anonymous freshman and promptly banked in a layup and hit a 3-pointer.

“That boosted my confidence,” Wood said. “We started to come back. But it didn’t end like we wanted to. I was a little nervous. But I worked hard enough to be ready and provide for my team.”

Wood has scored in the 15-20 range repeatedly in Nixa’s 9-2 start this season. She netted 17 points in the Lady Eagles’ 56-45 White Division semifinal win versus Marshfield at the Pink & White Tournament on Friday, earning coach Jenny Talbert’s team a berth in the final against Greenwood (Arkansas) tonight at 6. 

The headlines from the Marshfield game went to guard Lily Mahy for her 12-point explosion in the third quarter. As has been customary, Wood went about her business in rather unassuming fashion.

“She's smooth and steady," Talbert said. “She does her thing and at the end of a game you'll realize she got 20 points and you're like, ‘Oh, she did?’

“She hits her shots and makes her free throws,” Talbert added. “She does a good job of attacking the offensive board and that puts her at the free-throw line a lot."

“Very quietly,” Mahy said of Wood’s manner. “I think it's a quiet 20 because she gets her points off of hard work. She gets every offensive rebound she possibly is in position for and puts it right back up."

Wood also might go a bit unnoticed because she tends to consistently provide a couple buckets and a couple free throws each quarter. Gradually, her points add up.

“It's just how I play. I think it's a quiet 20 because sometimes in the first half I'll maybe score four points and then teams will forget me,” said Wood, who also contributed all over the court as a six-rotation player in volleyball this past fall. “Consistency is a big part of me.”