Katie McKie will be taking a huge step next season as the Vista Ridge forward will be trading her Ranger gear to join the Lady Riverhawks as at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
‘“I am really excited about going to UMass-Lowell,” McKie said. “It is a great school academically and is beautiful. It’s on the Merrimack River and the school is a good size (17,000 students) and offers a wonderful academic
Before McKie gets to next year, there is the business of closing out an extremely productive senior season for the two-time state tournament qualifying Rangers.
“Katie has had a tremendous season for us, she has been part of my program the past two years and has been both a superior role model and a tireless worker,” Vista Ridge head coach Keith Allen said. “She is the consummate team player.”
Allen, in his second year at the helm of the Lady Ranges, Allen has made back-to-back state tournament appearances. He previously guided Round Rock Stony Point to consecutive postseason appearances.
The Rangers lost multiple Division 1 players off the past two teams but Allen has embraced this year’s team with George Mason-bound guard Nikki Cardano-Hillary on the outside and the presence of McKie in the paint.
“Katie is such a hard worker, she rebounds extremely well, scores well but she does the small things that don’t always show up on a stat sheet,” Allen said. “She sets screens, plays great defense off the ball, denies access passes, she does multiple things every time down the court for us.”
Katie took to her current role effortlessly after being one of the only true forwards on a high tempo Ranger team that shot first and asked questions later, McKie played a huge role in the paint on both ends of the court.
“We have had great shooters and I have seen my role change, not only season to season but game to game and possession to possession,” McKie said.
While college beckons, the Rangers are out of first place for the first time in three years after losing a wild 81-77 game at Vandegrift, the only blemish on their 9-1 district record.
“Vandegrift is a really good team and they shot the ball really well against us, we have another game with them at our place, and a chance to even up the standings,” McKie said.
McKie is strong academically, part of what will take her to New England this fall. But UMass-Lowell has struggled this season, posting a 3-18 overall record.
“I am looking forward to school and basketball at UMASS-Lowell,” she said.
But the senior is hoping that the current season runs longer. If history is any indicator, she and the Rangers may be around for a long while more in playoffs.
“We have been to state two years in a row in Class 5A but now we are hoping to go as far as we can in Class 6A and see where that takes us,” she said.