Courtney McCarthy has been a leader from the beginning for Richwood basketball

Emely Hernandez
Monroe News-Star

Whenever he has a sliver of extra time, Richwood basketball player Courtney McCarthy is practicing free throws to the point of perfection. 

The Rams (15-15) have found their spark in McCarthy and lean on him as a source of motivation in games which in turn helps drive his performance. 

"When they see me start to take over, they start coming along and they motivate me," McCarthy said. 

The 6-foot-4 junior guard has been a leader and role model for the Rams as they continue their pursuit of a championship. Since being crowned the LHSAA Class 3A champions in 2012, the Rams have been on a stuck in a drought. 

"He's been a leader from the beginning," Richwood coach Terry Martin said. "He's taken it seriously this year, even from the preseason workouts."

HS BOYS PREDICTIONS:Predicting the LHSAA high school boys basketball state champions for 2022

HS GIRLS PREDICTIONS:Predicting every 2022 LHSAA high school girls basketball state champion

After putting up 43 points in the first round of playoffs against Jennings, McCarthy received his first offer from Grambling State. Next for the Rams is Bossier at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. 

McCarthy has averaged 32 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and five steals per game, while shooting 85% from the free-throw line. He said the secret to his success is repetition. 

Off the court McCarthy looks forward to the next time he can get his hands on a baseball. And for the most part is very reserved when he isn't playing basketball.

Martin said that McCarthy comes alive when he's on the basketball court with his teammates. . 

"I'm just different," McCarthy said. "I remove myself from negativity and all that, like being around all that, I like positive around me." 

TOP PERFORMERS:News-Star area high school sports top performers for the week of Feb. 21

Martin said McCarthy brings energy and motivation at all times for the Rams. 

"We can't really function as a team and win games, especially in playoffs in our district if you don't have a guy like him," Martin said. "You have to have that guy who's willing to step up and be there regardless of how he's feeling, if he's hurt or not, to come out and do what he's got to do to help the team win."

Emely Hernandez covers University of Louisiana-Monroe athletics and high school sports. Email her at ehernandez@thenewsstar.com and follow her on Twitter @emhernandeznews.