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Winning key stat describing Boykin

Statistics don’t always tell the whole story, but one key statistic says it all in the case of Mandi Boykin.

Boykin, a 5-foot-4 senior, has been the starting point guard for the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers the past four seasons. This year she led the team in a half dozen categories.

But the statistic that stood out the most in coach Doug Graham’s mind was career games played.

“Mandi played in something like 99 of 100 games in four years. That tells you just how much success she’s had,” Graham said. “She’s a just a winner.”

Boykin helped Ironton to the district finals in both her freshman and senior seasons. Last year Ironton lost in the regional championship game in overtime and as a sophomore she was instrumental in the Lady Tigers run to the state tournament.

“I really had a good time. I played with a lot of good people who went on to do great things,” Boykin said. “I hope I taught them a lot. They taught me a lot.”

An unselfish scorer, Boykin eclipsed 1,000 career points when she scored 27 in the district championship game last week against Alexander. She finished her career with 1,018 points.

“Scoring 1,000 points doesn’t mean as much to me. I don’t care how many I score as long as we win the game,” Boykin said.

Boykin was second on the team in scoring (13.5) behind Jessica Waddle and second in blocked shots with 19 to senior center Rachel Walker who set a single-season record with 28.

Boykin did lead the team in a lot of categories including rebounding (6.3) despite playing point guard. She also led in assists (4.2), steals (2.9) and minutes played as she rarely sat down to rest.

“Mandi was so good at everything. She made everyone around her better,” Walker said. “And when we needed a big play, she made it. She won a lot of games for us right at the end.”

Because of her versatility and defense, Graham said Boykin, the Southeast District Division III Co-Player of the Year, will be hard to replace.

“For four years we knew we had an advantage at the point guard position in every game we played. She gave us great play and great leadership. She helped take this program to another level,” Graham said.