Mckey and Devil Dogs rolling through 5A West

by Levi Gilbert

The success just keeps rolling at Morrilton High School.

Fresh off a state football championship, the boys basketball team is 16-1 and 9-0 in the 5A West.

One player that has contributed to this year’s success is 501 Basketball Team honoree Alex Mckey. The senior contributes on the wing and the post for the Devil Dogs.

“He’s a great defender and can guard several positions,” Morrilton Coach Trent Tipton said. “He knows his role. He isn’t selfish, does not need credit and just wants the team to do well. He’s never critical of his teammates.”

Tipton nominated Mckey for the inaugural 501 Basketball Team — which is made up of male and female student-athletes honored for their on- and off-the-court accomplishments and contributions.

“Mckey is a senior leader,” Tipton said. “Alex is not going to be our leading scorer and might not be in our starting five, but he has a role on this team, and I am confident he will help us be successful.

“Last year he contributed in the same manner he will this year. He gave us a good defender and came in and gave us good minutes when needed.”

Mckey has been in love with basketball since he was in the sixth grade. He was inspired by his cousin, Maurice Jeffers.

“He went to the NBA,” Mckey said. “Seeing him made me want to play. He plays overseas now.”

The same year that Mckey became interested in basketball, he also accomplished one of his favorite memories on the court.

“I hit a half-court shot in a game in Upward in the sixth grade,” Mckey said. “It was right before the half. We were already up, but I just threw it. I didn’t know what to think.”

Coming into the season, Mckey’s goals for the team were simple — “Go to the playoffs and win a ring, if we can.” As the Devil Dogs’ season continues to excel to greater heights, Mckey’s goals seem more and more on the mark.

But above all the aspirations, the senior still has a kind heart for the game. “I just want to have fun.”

Among several 5A West foes, Mckey had his eyes set on Clarksville heading into conference play. “I’m so ready to play against Clarksville. They beat us twice last year. I want to beat them to make it even.” The Devil Dogs played Clarksville in January, taking the game 65-60. Morrilton will face the Panthers one more time this month on the road. It’s a game that could have major playoff seeding implications for both teams.

But the Devil Dogs have a number of conference matchups to deal with before taking on Clarksville again. Morrilton travels to Alma on Friday, and then Mckey and the Devil Dogs will take on Greenbrier and fellow 501 Basketball Team member Logan Horvath on Tuesday.