OAKLAND — The name Mayo attracts plenty of attention on a Messalonskee basketball roster. Between Nick Mayo, now a senior at Eastern Kentucky University and one of the NCAA’s best mid-major players nationally, and Kelsey Mayo, Nick’s older sister, there has been plenty of success affiliated with that last name in town.

Mackie Mayo knows that better than most. She’s the youngest of the three Mayo siblings, a junior on the Messalonskee girls team that will face undefeated Skowhegan in a Class A North semifinal game Tuesday at the Augusta Civic Center.

No. 2 Hampden Academy meets No. 3 Lawrence in the other semifinal.

“It does have pressure that comes with it, but I also take so much pride in being his sister and my sister’s sister,” Mackie said Monday prior to a practice. “I use it as motivation to be more like them. Watching his games, he’ll hit threes and then the next game I’ll go out and try to shoot threes, trying to be like him.”

Kelsey Mayo was a senior on a seventh-seeded Messalonskee girls team that pulled a stunning upset of No. 2 Lawrence in the 2014 regional quarterfinals. A year later, Nick helped lead the Eagle boys to the regional semifinals.

But Mackie is not the same player that Kelsey or Nick were — at least not yet. In the team’s quarterfinal win over Gardiner on Friday, she came off the bench and provided a much-needed inside presence in a game that was less than aesthetically pleasing.

Her role has grown as the season’s gone on for the fifth-seeded Eagles (11-8).

“It’s been different every game,” Messalonskee coach Keith Derosby said. “It’s between her and Brooke Martin spelling Katie Seekins, depending on who gives us the better matchup. The other night (against Gardiner), she was just spectacular.

“Earlier (this season) she started off with lesser minutes, but the last couple of weeks have just been huge for her.”

More of a defensive specialist, Mayo benefited from Derosby using as many as 11 players a night with regularity to build depth for the postseason. And even as a seventh or eighth option off the bench, Derosby says there’s still plenty to Mayo’s game that many haven’t seen.

“She’s actually a really good shooter. I don’t know if she takes enough shots or gets enough shots, which is probably my fault,” he said. “Over the last year, she’s really put a lot of time in outside of season. She had before, but it’s just refining some of those skills she has. That hook shot’s been there all year long, and she’s great from the free throw line. But defensively, the last game was kind of the big step for her.”

The youngest of the three Mayos doesn’t care how much she plays, or whether she’s garnering extra attention because of her surname.

She’s simply relishing a tournament run.

“Everyone on this team has their role. Each game it changes,” she said. “Each person has a different position, a different job they need to do that night. It’s important that we know what we can contribute to the team.

“I like being known as defending post players and getting some rebounds. I also like to be on the bench cheering on my teammates and bringing that energy. It’s really important, and it’s a huge part of our team.”

For Mackie, it’s fun to be part of what she watched her siblings go through when she was in elementary school.

“It’s my chance now,” she said. “It’s completely different. I remember watching them, I remember watching my sister beat Lawrence — which was a huge upset —and how excited she was. I feel the same excitement. Having seen that before makes this a better experience for me.”

Mackie Mayo hopes Messalonskee can deliver its signature moment Tuesday with an upset of undefeated Skowhegan. That, though, is a tall task. The Eagles lost twice to Skowhegan during the regular season, by 22 at home and by 25 on the road.

“We really want a win. We really want a big upset,” Mayo said. “We’re such a good team, and we just love each other. It’s a great environment. I really like playing with this team and we don’t want it to end. But I think at the same time we’re proud of how far we’ve come. We’re not going to say it’s not a successful season if we don’t beat Skowhegan, but we do want that one win more than anything.

“You want to get in, obviously, and once you’re in everyone’s on a neutral floor,” Derosby said. “That’s not the issue. We have a lot of kids that haven’t played (much in the past), so we don’t feel like it’s our home court. There are still some nerves, obviously, and they’re still pretty grounded and know that it’s a tall task ahead of them with Skowhegan.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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