• Maiya Reed (left) and Ciara Spence bonded after moving from the West Coast to Munford. Photo by Jeff Ireland

Six years ago Maiya Reed and Ciara Spence were living in separate cities 2,000 miles away from Munford.

Reed was living in her home town of San Diego and Spence was in Spokane, Wash.

When Reed was in the sixth grade and Spence in the seventh, both relocated to Munford.

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“With all the humidity here I thought the weather was terrible,” Spence said, “but people are more friendly here.”

“I’m pretty shy and I didn’t talk to anybody at first,” Reed said. “I used to go to the beach every day and it didn’t seem like there was anything to do here. I wasn’t used to but I am now.”

Reed and Spence knew each other at Munford Middle School but weren’t really friends until both joined the Munford High basketball and soccer teams as freshmen. Now they are best friends and trying to finish off their high school careers on a high note.

They don’t figure to go to the same college so both know time is short.

“I don’t think it’s really hit me yet, but i know it’s coming to an end,” Spence said. “I haven’t really thought about it yet but I know I will.”

Reed, a lightning-quick point guard, has been the leading scorer on the basketball team since her sophomore year and led the soccer team in goals last fall. She’s averaging 16.3 points per game on the court this season, which ranks third in the Shelby-Metro area.

“She’s really aggressive, just all around really good,” Spence said about her best friend’s basketball skills, “and it’s pretty much the same in soccer.”

Spence is less flashy than Reed on the soccer pitch and the basketball court, but she’s a very important player. She’s a captain midfielder on the soccer team. Though only 5-5, she spends a lot of her time playing in the paint on basketball court and doing the dirty work. She’s also a solid 3-point shooter.

“If you’d seen her when she was a freshman it”s crazy how much she’s improved,” Munford basketball coach Steve Poindexter said. “As a freshman she was one of those kids if you told her to go in she was like, ‘Are you talking to me?’   Now when she’s on the floor, she does all the little things she’s supposed to, like taking charges and playing defense. If she’s scoring that’s great, but you don’t have to score 15 points a game to be productive. She’s definitely somebody I feel like we need on the floor.”

Reed describes Spences’ basketball prowess more succinctly.

“She be shooting that thang,” she said with a laugh.

Poindexter feels like Reed hasn’t received the attention she deserves. He said playing outside of Memphis and only playing one season of summer AAU basketball has contributed to that.

Reed was also among the top five basketball scorers in Shelby-Metro last season.

“She flies under the radar,” Poindexter said. “She’s as talented as the players who are getting more notoriety in Memphis. She will have an opportunity to play in college. Whoever gets her, they’re going to get a steal.”

COVID-19 has put a dent in the best friend’s social calendar the last few months, but hey have managed to make some mall trips together and also team up to babysit Poindexter’s child.

They believe Poindexter, who has a reputation as a no-nonsense coach, is misunderstood.

“He’s like a sweetheart inside of a rock,” Reed said with a laugh as Spence nodded in agreement. “He’s really a softy, like a second father.”

Spence wants to play soccer at the next level and Reed plans on playing both sports in college. Between now and then, Spence, Reed and Poindexter plan on making some things happen on the basketball court.

“I wouldn’t say either one of them has a leadership style that’s overly vocal, but when you see how they work that kind of speaks for itself,” Poindexter said about Reed and Spence, the only two seniors on the roster. “It’s a luxury as a coach to have kids you don’t have to worry about. I don’t think either one of them cares if they score a single point as long as we win.  That kind of sums both of them up. They’re the kind of kids you enjoy coaching.”