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Madison Parrish looks and plays the part of leader for Mason girls basketball

The junior is averaging a team-high 15.7 points per game for the Comets

BERLIN, Ohio - Look good, feel good, play good.

At least that was the philosophy for Mason's Madison Parrish at the Classic in the Country, as she came in with her hair and nails matching, both in teal and purple.

"Coach might not like this, but I wanted to look cute coming up for Classic," Parrish joked.

When made aware of the comment, Mason head coach Rob Matula laughed. 

And why wouldn't he? When you play as well as his 6-foot junior has so far this season, she can have her hair and nails any color she wants.

In two games at the Classic in the Country, Parrish led the Comets with 15 points in a win over Portsmouth on Sunday and then with 14 points in a win over Belleville (Michigan) on Monday.

Parrish leads the Comets in scoring with 15.7 points per game, and is shooting 45.6% from 3-point range, up from 32.7% from her sophomore year.

"(The improvement) was just countless hours with my family in the gym," Parrish said. "Just sort of working on those little things like using my guide hand on my shot, either if I'm using it or not, and sort of just getting that straight, straight up and straight down."

That attention to detail didn't escape Matula, as it was the first thing he mentioned when asked what Parrish has improved on the most from her sophomore year.

"Within the game, her shot is so much more smooth and consistent," Matula said.

As for what she has improved intangibly, the player and coach again agreed - it has been her leadership.

"She was in a weird spot coming in as a freshman with a strong senior class and then a strong senior class her sophomore year," Matula said. "She's really becoming a teammate that is starting to blossom into a leader and that's tough."

For the player, it was all about gaining a new level of maturity on the floor.

"I could tell that sometimes last year I would call myself immature," Parrish said. "I've sort of just been working on the next play mentality. I can't really get sucked into either missing a layup or dribbling off my foot. I just have to stay calm for my teammates and coach too because me and other teammates on the court are an extension of him. So just me staying sound of mind on the court just really has been an improvement."

Parrish cites former players like Kyla Oldacre, Carly Prows and Gabby Razzano for showing her the way as a leader of the team.

"It was great being surrounded by them as mentors to me," Parrish said. "Now I'm sort of just trying to follow what they've paved the way for me to do."

Part of leadership is being unselfish, and that has not been a problem for Parrish. When the Comets have a big lead late in games, Matula has sat her down, which means her numbers might not be as large as one might expect for a player with offers such as Ohio State, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.

But Parrish has taken it all in stride.

"What makes her a special, special player is the fact that if she gets seven shots or she gets 17 shots, she's unselfish," Matula said. "She's gonna make her teammates better. We've had some lopsided victories. If she was one looking for points and stats, she could have probably scored 20 in a quarter and a half, but she passed the ball to open teammates. She slows the ball down one time trying to get to an open teammate. So I think that's what makes her really good. But could she score more? Yeah, I think she could."

It isn't all serious with Parrish, however. If you want her to smile, ask her about the hair.

"I sort of try and switch it up," Parrish said. "My hair is mainly a part of my personality. So I usually try and do something unique and fun."

-- Ryan Isley | | @sbliveoh