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Staff photo by Erin O. Smith / Baylor's Raegyn Conley (11) puts up a foul shot during the Baylor vs. Bradley Central girls' basketball game Thursday, November 21, 2019 at Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Raegyn Conley is not one to back away from a challenge.

The Baylor School senior phenom has played a little bit of every position on the basketball court and has done so in a dominant fashion throughout a career which her coach John Gibson says certainly will leave her as one of the best players to ever play for the Lady Red Raiders.

"Raegyn has put on a show a lot of times and in a lot of different places," said Gibson after watching Conley score 12 of her game-high 23 points in the second quarter of Tuesday's 59-29 Division II region victory at Chattanooga Christian.

"She does a lot of good things for everyone around her and everywhere on the floor. Even as we speak, she is starting to assert herself a little bit more. She is very competitive and has become more of a complete player. By the time she is done she certainly will leave behind a legacy. No one has dominated the way she has offensively since I have been here and she is one of the best to ever play here."

Conley can take over a game in a heartbeat.

The Wake Forest signee has a smooth outside jumper and can get any look at the basket when she asserts herself in the paint. Not many can guard the versatile 6-foot-2 playmaker who plays with finesse and power.

Baylor has made it to the Division II-AA state semifinals both seasons Conley has played in the postseason — as a freshman and junior, a season in which she was a Miss Basketball finalist. She missed the second half of her sophomore season due to an ACL injury.

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Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / Baylor's Raegyn Conley (11) drives to the basket while GPS's Abbie Reel (14) defends. The GPS Bruisers hosted the Baylor Red Raiders in TSSAA rivalry game on February 21, 2020.

Her composure has helped the team reach great heights and also guided the Lady Red Raiders through unprecedented times.

In a recent three-game stretch Conley was the lone varsity player available due to the rest of her teammates having to quarantine due to COVID-19. Conley did not let anyone down as she upped her level of intensity and was able to average nearly 30 points per game. She made eight 3-pointers in a 36-point effort against GPS, and led a 52-51 road victory over Knoxville Catholic.

Conley didn't try to be someone she was not despite playing with mostly jayvee players. Instead she made the most of the situation which may have added another level to her game and leadership ability as well.

"I was just trying to be the leader I have been even when everyone is playing," Conley said. "I took it as an opportunity to get closer with teammates I usually don't get to play with. I wanted to help give them tips and lead them to be better players. I still remember all those who helped me when I was younger. I want to be a player my younger teammates can learn and look up to as well."

With a healthy roster now, Baylor is focused on getting prepared to make another deep postseason run. Gibson knows with a leader like Conley, great things can happen.

Despite having a 6-9 overall record — a combination of a grueling early-season schedule and COVID-19's impact — Conley believes in those around her.

"We have the skills on this team to make a strong postseason run again," Conley said. "We only lost one starter from last year. This team plays well together and we are thankful to all be back together pushing for the same goal. We want to make a run at the state championship."

Contact Patrick MacCoon at pmaccoon@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.

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Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / Baylor's Raegyn Conley (11) dribbles past GPS's Maddie Hubbard (31). The GPS Bruisers hosted the Baylor Red Raiders in TSSAA rivalry game on February 21, 2020.

 

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