For The Tribune
Zach McCory has been involved in a lot of victories during his basketball and baseball games at Brownstown Central.
He helped the Braves win the Mid-Southern Conference in basketball this winter and helped them stay near the top of the baseball standings this spring.
McCory said he has played both sports for several years.
“I started playing baseball in little league, and did a bunch of basketball camps, probably, in third or fourth grade with coach (Dave) Benter and the coaching staff,” he said.
He started at third base his sophomore year, but has been at shortstop the past two years.
“I feel really comfortable playing defense,” McCory said. “I’ve always worked hard playing defense. You see the pros making just spectacular plays. It’s awesome to watch them, and it’s probably my favorite part of the game. I try to imitate some of the stuff they do, and it’s pretty cool.
“Communication is really important. You’ve got to know where everybody’s going to be at and you want to make sure everybody’s in the spot they need to be in before the pitch and after the pitch and what you’re doing and where you’re going. Communication is huge in athletics, in team sports.”
The senior enjoys batting, and he has been hitting in the No. 3 hole for the Braves all season.
“I’m thinking the first pitch has got to be yours, it has to be a fastball,” he said. “It increases your chance to hit a fastball. Most hitters are better fastball hitters than they are curveball hitters, so I always look for a fastball that’s kind of up in the zone that I can really drive.
“I don’t guess. It’s more of a reaction. There are certain things you look at when you’re looking at a pitcher, like what’s coming. You can see the ball come out of his hand. If it starts to go up, it’s going to be a curveball, if it goes straight it’s going to be a fastball.”
McCory said defense has been another key to the Braves’ success.
“We’ve got to keep playing good defense,” he said. “Our defense has been pretty good. Earlier we struggled scoring runs. I think as long as we score runs we’re going to be all right.”
He was a two-year varsity starter in basketball, playing as a combo guard.
“I liked taking the ball to the basket,” McCory said. “I was a lot more comfortable doing that. I liked going up the left side of the floor. That is where I was more comfortable. I know it’s kind of awkward but growing up I was just a lot better dribbling left-handed. That was my dominant hand dribbling the ball, pretty much.”
“I posted up a decent amount last year, but this year I posted up a lot more. I felt like I was a difficult match-up. I liked playing against man.”
McCory’s high-point games were 26 against Orleans and 24 versus Salem, both his junior season.
He scored 20 or more seven times in his career.
The Braves’ basketball teams were 38-8 the past two seasons and McCory attributed the program’s success to the players starting to learn the game at a young age.
“I think starting the kids young, and coach Benter and his staff does a really nice job developing players when they’re younger,” McCory said. “It really transitions through the coaches that he has in place at fifth and sixth and throughout middle school.
“You’ve got to practice every day in basketball and baseball and get a feel for how your teammates play and what they do when they’re on the field so it definitely helps.”
For McCory, having a strong mental game was key.
“ It’s one of the more important things in sports,” he said. “About every sport you play you’re going to have adversity that you have to overcome.
“Like in baseball the other team is trying to get you out so you’re not going to be successful. It’s a physically demanding game and you have to make sure you in the right set of mind to play.”
Name: Zach McCory
School: Brownstown Central High School
Parents: Marty and Stacey McCory
Siblings: Brett, Kendra
Sports: Baseball, four years; basketball, four years
Organizations: Lettermen’s Club, Booster Club
Plans after high school: Attend University of Indianapolis, play baseball
Favorite food: Chili
Favorite TV show: “Blue Mountain State”
Favorite singer: Kenny Chesney
Favorite movie: “21 Jump Street”
Favorite athlete: Ken Griffey Jr.
Q: Have you enjoyed your time at Brownstown Central?
A: “It’s great. I wouldn’t want to go to school anywhere else. It’s a great school and has great athletics. I’ve made a lot of friends and met a lot of great people.”
Q: What’s your favorite aspect of baseball?
A: “I love playing defense. There is just something about it. I’ve just always developed a love for the game growing up and it’s been enjoyable playing.”
Q: What’s your favorite basketball memory?
A:“I love running down the steps when the band played. With three minutes left, hearing the drums play was, by far, a great feeling. There is nothing like it. I liked playing at Seymour. It was just a great environment when you play there, and it’s always a big game so it’s fun to play there.”