Macy Williams knew what she had to do this season. In short, the Hamilton senior had a lot to accomplish, but things became even more difficult in October 2016.
During a fall league game, one of Hamilton's primary players last season, Megan Schmitt, went down with a knee injury. Before the injury even occurred, Williams had to prove doubters wrong after the school's all-time leading scorer, Taylor Klug, graduated in the spring.
"We were only losing one senior, but she obviously played a huge role on our team offensively and defensively," Williams said of Klug. "Going into my senior year, I knew I kind of had to take more responsibility, especially offensively."
Williams was no stranger to the varsity team. At the end of her freshman season, Williams was moved to varsity and became a starter halfway through her sophomore campaign. As a junior, Williams was named a captain alongside Klug.
The odds were already against the Chargers, but things worsened when Schmitt went down.
"That was probably one of the hardest things we had to go through this season," Williams said. "At the time, we didn't know for sure that she tore her ACL, but we kind of knew based on what the trainer was saying. I think a lot of us were thinking how hard it was going to be without her and how much different it would be without her on the court."
Even with the added adversity, Williams helped engineer an impressive season which saw Hamilton win the Greater Metro Conference championship outright. Williams averaged 14.3 points and added 77 rebounds, 50 assists, and 43 steals. For her efforts, Williams was named the Player of the Year in the GMC and earned Now Newspapers All-Suburban honors.
"She stepped up this year," Hamilton coach Bill Scasny said. "We talked in the offseason with Taylor leaving that she would have to take the reins of the team, and she would have to be the leader on the court. She really worked at it and really stepped up. She was chosen as a captain as a junior, so that part of leadership she had as a two-year captain. Stepping on the floor and being the leader, this was her first year she really had to step it up."
Scasny was even more impressed with Williams after Schmitt was injured.
"The pressure was directed more to her because our second option was gone," Scasny said. "We had to find other options. There was more pressure to put on her to be a leader and to be the go-to person. Other teams keyed on that. Throughout the year, most teams had a full-court, total denial on her. A lot of box and ones. They knew she was our No. 1 person, and they really tried to take her away from us."
The University of Mary recruit scored 20 or more points on six different occasions.
"I had the ball in my hands a lot more this season, which allowed me to be more of a playmaker and more of a scorer," Williams said.
Even when the pressure was greatest, Williams didn't falter.
"Without her, there's no way we go 12-2 and win the conference championship," Scasny said. "I think we surprised a lot of people in the first place winning it. We were not picked to win it. Losing Megan made it even more difficult. (Williams) stepped it up. We won a lot of close games because she put the ball in her hands and learned how to lead us."
Williams lands GMC honor
Menomonee Falls senior Marissa Igunbor joined Williams on the Greater Metro first team.
Igunbor scored 14.4 points and added 6.4 rebounds per game in addition to team-highs in assists (4.8) and steals (3.1).
Hamilton senior Ellie Sumiec and junior Kristin Thompson were honorable-mention All Conference. Sumiec was second on the team with 7.3 points per game and made 31 3-pointers. Thompson averaged 6.3 points per game and 6.0 rebounds.
Falls seniors Madison Grzesiak and Karly Volz and junior Jessica Boerner made the honorable mention team. Grzesiak scored 7.8 points a game and had a team-high 37 3-pointers. Volz scored 7.7 points and made 32 threes. Boerner had 8.4 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per outing.
Falls took fifth in the GMC with a 7-7 record.
Hamilton's Sumiec, Williams, Jordan Fierst, Jackie Zeman and Megan Schmitt were named GMC Scholar Athletes, which required senior letter winners to have a 3.5 grade-point average or higher.
Falls' Scholar Athletes were Grzesiak, Igunbor, Volz, Jordan Lemieux, Elena Beck, Alyssa Marks and Allie Paulson.
First team: Caroline Busch, sr., Brookfield Central; Molly DeValkenaere, jr., Brookfield East; Ovi Young, sr., Divine Savior Holy Angels; Macy Williams, sr., Hamilton; Marissa Igunbor, sr., Menomonee Falls; Brooklyn Blackburn, soph., Wauwatosa East
Second team: Anna Mortag, fr., Brookfield Central; Rachel Heinrich, sr., DSHA; Johanna Taylor, sr., Wauwatosa East; Nikita Conroy, sr., West Allis Central; KellyAnn Sotiros, jr., West Allis Hale
Honorable mention: Amanda Miller, sr., Brookfield Central; Leah Swensen, sr., Brookfield Central; Ellery Nordling, sr., Brookfield Central; Emma Ralfs, jr., Brookfield East; Nikki Pink, jr., Brookfield East; Jadin O’Brien, fr., DSHA; Ellie Sumiec, sr., Hamilton; Kristin Thompson, jr., Hamilton; Jessica Boerner, jr., Menomonee Falls; Madison Grzesiak, sr., Menomonee Falls; Karly Volz, sr., Menomonee Falls; Elizabeth Bueckers, jr., Wauwatosa East; Daisah Whigum-Rogers, jr., West Allis Central; Antoinete Powell, jr., West Allis Central; Alyssa Cruz, jr., West Allis Hale; Zoe Burczyk, jr., West Allis Hale