Sweet 16 | Murray vs. Nelson County

Sweet 16 | Murray vs. Nelson County


Sweet 16 | Murray vs. Nelson County


Murray Lady Tigers head basketball coach Rechelle C. Turner turns up the heat on her team in a time-out. Her team was behind at the end of the second period but came storming back in the third period to win the game. 10 March, 2016

Murray Lady Tigers head basketball coach Rechelle C. Turner turns up the heat on her team in a time-out. Her team was behind at the end of the second period but came storming back in the third period to win the game. 10 March, 2016



* Coach: Rechelle Turner.

* Record: 26-5.

* Nickname: Tigers.

* Location: Murray.

* Region: First.

* Enrollment: 458.

* Litkenhous Rating: 108.2 (No. 8 in state).

* Sweet 16 trips: Fourth (2-3).

* Last trip to State: 2016 (lost to Butler 68-58 in semifinals).

* What to look for: Murray returned its top five scorers from last season’s team that reached the Sweet 16 semifinals and rolled through the First Region, posting a 13-0 record against regional opponents. Maddie Waldrop, a Tennessee-Martin signee, missed the team’s first 11 games after suffering a torn ACL in June but is playing close to 100 percent, Turner said. “Mentally, she’s 100 percent,” Turner said. “She plays with reckless abandon. Physically, she’s about 90 percent. It just takes a while with that injury.” Murray’s depth took a hit when senior Loryn Carver suffered a torn ACL during the preseason. The Tigers go just six deep. Murray’s seniors are multi-sport stars, as Brittany Lawson has signed to play soccer at Asbury and Grace Campbell has signed with the Columbia University track and field program.

* Key player: Junior guard Macey Turley leads the Tigers in scoring (15.9 ppg) and “is the engine that runs our team,” Turner said. “She’s been in crucial situations for a very long time now, and she’s performed on the biggest stages. She gets her offense, but she also makes everybody else on the floor better.” Turley is a 46.2 percent shooter overall and hits 38.9 percent (37 of 95) from 3-point range.

* Coach-speak: “We wanted to defend our All ‘A’ championship and got beat by a very good Monroe County team,” Turner said. “That moment defined us. You can go either way when you come back from the All ‘A.’ You can come back really down and let it affect the rest of your season, or you can get back and get focused. Our kids really took that moment and ran with it. Everything has been more focused with more attention to detail.”


5-Macey Turley

5-7, Jr., 15.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg

2-Brittany Lawson

5-7, Sr., 6.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg

4-Alexandria Mayes

5-7, Jr., 13.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg

32-Alexis Burpo

5-10, Jr., 12.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg

21-Maddie Waldrop

6-2, Sr., 12.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg


15-Grace Campbell

5-11, Sr., 4.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg


* Coach: Jacqueline Coleman.

* Record: 30-3.

* Nickname: Cardinals.

* Location: Bardstown.

* Region: Fifth.

* Enrollment: 857.

* Litkenhous Rating: 97.3.

* Sweet 16 trips: Fifth (0-4).

* Last trip to State: 1990, lost to Elkhorn City 57-45 in first round.

* What to look for: Nelson County finally broke through in a Fifth Region that had been ruled by Elizabethtown and Marion County since 2008. The Cardinals did it during a tumultuous season that saw head coach Kelly Wood resign on Jan. 11. The Kentucky Standard reported Wood and assistant coach G.B. Walls were involved in altercation Jan. 7 following the Cardinals’ 85-57 to Scott County. Both coaches resigned. Coleman took over as the interim coach Jan. 12 and has guided Nelson County to a 16-1 record since then. Coleman previously coached at East Jessamine but resigned after last season to follow the basketball career of her daughter, Emma Young, at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and begin pursuit of a doctoral degree at the University of Kentucky. Coleman does not plan to coach at Nelson County after this season.

* Key player: Marly Walls, the daughter of former assistant G.B. Walls, leads the Cardinals in scoring (18.5 ppg). The 5-foot-4 off-guard is shooting 38.9 percent (44 of 113) from 3-point range. “She’s tenacious on both sides of the ball,” Coleman said. “She’s a great outside shooter, and she’s great off the dribble. She can do it all.”

* Coach-speak: “I felt like we were talented enough to get here, but at times I wondered how much one team could overcome,” Coleman said. “It seemed like there was always something else they had to get through. It’s a credit to the girls that they maintained their focus on their goals and made it happen. To say it’s been a whirlwind would probably be an understatement.”


1-Shyla Calbert

5-4, Sr., 15.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg

3-Madison Wood

5-7, So., 4.4 ppg, 1.0 rpg

2-Marly Walls

5-4, Jr., 18.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg

15-Le Le Linton

5-6, Sr., 10.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg

13-Kira Harman

5-9, Sr., 7.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg


20-Zaria Burton

5-5, Fr., 2.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg


More USA TODAY High School Sports