Carlnel Wiley tells a story that typifies Katie Turner.
Wiley, the Bishop Manogue girls basketball coach, had called a play out of a timeout that would likely lead Turner to score.
Turner, the reigning Gatorade Nevada girls basketball Player of the Year, ran a different play.
“She said, ‘Coach, I’m sorry,’” Wiley recalled, smiling. “Katie Turner has understood that it’s team first. She’s always been about that.”
Turner, a senior at Bishop Manogue, is a key reason the Miners have won the past two Northern 4A regional girls basketball titles.
As a point guard, her role is to distribute the ball, although she’s equally adept at scoring herself.
She is averaging 13.2 points per game, 4.6 assists, 4 rebounds and 3.7 steals.
Her prowess on the court earned Turner a Division I college scholarship. She will play for Davidson in the fall.
But Turner is intent on getting the Miners a state championship first. She has been on the Manogue varsity since her freshman year and has seen the team lose in the state semifinals each of those seasons.
This season, the Miners are 15-0 and have not lost a league game since the middle of her sophomore season.
Winning state is driving Turner and all the Miners.
“We are so determined to finally win it all,” she said. “First we have to get to Reno, then we have to beat Reno.”
Reno is the top seed from the High Desert League. The Huskies lone league loss this season was to Manogue, by 10 points, in December.
At Manogue’s Senior Night celebration last week, one of her teammates remarked about Turner’s ferocious facial expression on the court.
Her mother, Annie Turner, said that scowling look exemplifies Katie, saying her daughter is competitive no matter what she’s doing.
“If she is playing checkers or bowling or playing basketball, she has that same look, that she wants to beat you every time,” Annie Turner said. “I don’t think you can teach that, it’s something in her heart. She doesn’t like to lose. She will go at it with 100 percent intensity. She will try to beat you as quickly as she can. That will serve her well in college and in life.”
Annie, who won a state basketball championship with Incline in 1985, coached Katie throughout youth basketball.
A few weeks ago, they were watching a basketball game on TV and a player grabbed a rebound on a missed free throw over the player who should have had position.
That led Annie to tell Katie she would be grounded if that ever happened to her.
“There’s no reason for that. I joked about it. It made things light between us,” Annie said. “I tend to be critical sometimes. It was one of those moments we could laugh about.”
Katie promptly put that remark on Twitter.
Katie was also a good golfer, soccer and volleyball player, but she preferred basketball and knew it could be her best bet to earn a college scholarship.
With her future already settled, Turner has taken a slightly different tact this season, trying to expand her game and facilitate assists.
Her rapidly winding down high school career is bittersweet.
“This team is like my family, so leaving it is going to be the hardest thing ever, but I’m excited to see what’s to come,” she said.
She said the New England Patriots stunning comeback win in the Super Bowl is good motivation for the Miners and something they can use in the playoffs over the next two weeks.
“It would be a devastating loss if we end up not pulling it out at state. We have to be focused, we can’t think about losing,” she said. “It’s never over until it’s over. If we make it to state, that will be our motto.”
She is undecided on what she will study at Davidson, but excels at match and science and said computer science is one area that interests her.
Friday: (all doubleheaders) Girls at 5:15 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.: North Valleys at Hug; Reno at McQueen; Spanish Springs at Reed; Bishop Manogue at Wooster; Carson at Douglas; Damonte Ranch at Galena.
Northern 4A Boys Basketball Standings
Spanish Springs 15-0
North Valleys 2-13
Bishop Manogue 11-4
Damonte Ranch 3-12
Girls Basketball Standings
Spanish Springs 11-4
North Valleys 5-10
Bishop Manogue 15-0
Damonte Ranch 4-11