TRUMBULL ATHLETIC CONFERENCE Murray, Hunkus spark Girard win
The Indians chalked up their 12th victory, 57-48 over Newton Falls.
By CHUCK HOUSTEAU
NEWTON FALLS -- Girard High's Cachet Murray doesn't look like a freshman. She also doesn't act like one and she certainly doesn't play like one.
Murray scored 25 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Indians to a 57-48 victory over Newton Falls, in a Trumbull Athletic Conference game Thursday.
Murray and junior Teale Hunkus, who finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds, were the catalysts for a Girard (12-1, 9-1) offense, which was outstanding for three quarters before Newton Falls put on a fierce fourth quarter rally.
Ability: Murray's athletic ability enabled her to attack the basket with relative ease in the first half, when she made 7-of-9 shots. She also spearheaded a 1-2-2 full court defense that forced the Tigers into nine first-half turnovers.
"[Murray's] an outstanding young lady," said Girard coach Andy Saxon. "She's a sprinter. She ran an 11.7 [seconds] in the 100 [yard dash] in the eighth grade. She can jump and run the court well.
"The amazing thing about her is that she is just beginning to learn how to play the game. She has a lot of athletic ability and now that she's learning the game it's making her a lot more effective."
Murray is averaging over 13 points per game this season.
Hunkus made three 3-pointers and also scored 15 points in the first half, as Girard led by as many as 15 points before settling for a 33-22 lead at the intermission.
"We did a good job of pressing them in the first half and stopping their penetration," Saxon said. "I thought that was the key to us getting off to a good start."
Girard opened up another 15 point lead, 41-26, on a Murray basket early in the third quarter, but, the Tigers, behind junior Desiree Sterling and Megan McElravy, made a game of it.
Sterling scored seven points in the third quarter and McElravy hit a 3-pointer which seemed to ignite the Newton Falls offense.
Turnovers: The Tigers (11-3, 7-3) then pressed the Indians into turnovers and got to within four points twice in the final period.
"You can't spot a team like Girard a big lead and come back," said Newton Falls coach Kelly Nelson. "The kids played hard though.
"We told the girls, you have to dig deep and go for it," Nelson said. "I told the kids, 'I know you're tired but this is it. This is all she wrote.' "
Sterling led the Tigers with 15 points, while McElravy added 11 and Kellie Drake 10. Drake also led the Tigers in rebounding with nine.