Mention Centertown basketball to Elsa Eckenrod and her eyes will light up. Slip up and call her a Lady Pioneer and she won’t rush to correct. All the memories made in Warren County are still fresh, even if time is slowly slipping by.
Even if it’s tough to admit, Eckenrod’s nearing an end to the basketball career she started over a decade ago on local teams. She will enter her senior year at Maryville College this fall, one she’s hoping to make her best.
“My senior year is coming up and it’s really hard to believe,” said Eckenrod, who has been a fixture in the starting lineup for the Scots the last two seasons. “This year’s plan involves a championship ring and a banner. Honestly, I’m just looking forward to taking in all the memories I can in my last year.”
A versatile forward who enjoyed mixing it up in the paint during her Warren County days, Eckenrod has transitioned into a guard in college. She’s even been asked to play point guard more over the years, showing one of her strengths – adaptability.
“I learn more as each year passes. Gaining those big-game experiences is valuable and helps me grow from season to season,” said Eckenrod. “I’ve been exposed to a lot of new things at Maryville. I’ve played point guard and for anybody who knows me, that’s a big deal. I’ve gotten the opportunity to help my team by playing several positions, so I believe conditioning and versatility are two things I’ve improved on since high school.”
Eckenrod averaged 9.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game as a junior, helping her team to a 20-8 record and a run to the conference semifinals. On the way, Eckenrod experienced one of her favorite wins in her career.
“We’ve had some big wins in our program while I’ve been there. We beat Emory at Emory for the first time in program history. This season, in particular, was filled with big wins. We beat two top-25 teams, along with winning some good rivalry games,” said Eckenrod. “My favorite game would be our win over NC Wesleyan to move on to the semifinals. It is hands-down the toughest and most fun basketball I’ve ever played."