High School Football

Spencer Macke living as king for a day after making first shot

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — It’s Spencer Macke’s world, and we’re just living in it.

Macke has seemingly been lifted to the heavens since getting carried off the WVU Coliseum floor following West Virginia’s 97-59 win over Texas, unwittingly providing the program with its most national exposure in years despite being its last man in the lineup.

ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt took that scene and ran with it, highlighting Macke’s first career field goal as “The Best Thing I Saw All Day” on his SportsCenter broadcast late Monday night.

ESPN wasn’t done with the Macke love-fest, once again highlighting the moment during Tuesday morning’s SportsCenter broadcast.

Quite the turn of events for a freshman walk-on whose most prominent recruitment came from Division II Kentucky Wesleyan.

Macke’s moment began in earnest when the student section started calling for him, as it always does at the end of blowout wins. In this case, though, there was still plenty of time left — there was still 7:05 on the clock when the cries of “We want Macke!” started ringing through the Coliseum.

At that point the lead was secure enough that the Mountaineers could have gotten by with the 5-foot-11 Macke playing center, but Bob Huggins waited another four minutes before relenting to the crowd’s demands.

Though it was still the earliest Macke has checked into a game this season, he didn’t get his first shot off until 35 seconds remained. That one was on the wrong end of the highlight real, resoundingly rejected by 6-foot-8 Texas forward Gerald Liddell.

But Jordan McCabe was able to corral the loose ball and feed it back to Macke, who got his second attempt off just before Liddell had the chance to jump in from behind for a repeat rejection.

“I was nervous,” Macke said. “I didn’t know if I should shoot or not because I didn’t want to get blocked two times in a row.”

He made the right choice, with his three-pointer temporarily putting West Virginia up by 41 points.

As was the case when Macke hit a pair of free throws in a December game against Nicholls, West Virginia’s bench lost its collective mind when the ball went through the net. So did the guys on the floor.

“It’s like a big brother seeing his little brother score for the first time,” said teammate Emmitt Matthews.

It was Matthews and Oscar Tshiebwe who gave Macke the ultimate hero’s treatment, plucking the 170-pound guard onto their shoulders for a ride to the locker room.

“It felt great,” Macke said. “I loved that.”

As it turns out, so did much of America on Spencer Macke’s unexpected day in the spotlight.

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