One player may not make or break a team in basketball, but for White County, getting Mia Murray back at full strength could turn them from really great to state title contender.
The junior forward has been recovering from a MCL sprain, and in the earlier stages of the season, she was on a minutes restriction of sorts that saw her play very sparingly in the second half of games. Before the season, Murray even mentioned that one of her main goals was just getting healthy so she could contribute even more to the team.
After a dominant 70-34 win over Monterey that saw her put up nine points in just over nine minutes of game action, Murray mentioned afterwards that she was feeling really good and that playing into the second half was a really encouraging sign in her recovery process.
“Right now, I’m slowly getting back into (regular minutes), and playing about three quarters,” Murray said. “(Playing into the third quarter) makes me feel more prepared.”
She followed that performance up with a season-high 19 points in a 63-62 win over Coffee County. This performance only served to justify what Head Coach Michael Dodgen had to say about what she brings to the table when healthy.
“A lot of energy,” Dodgen said. “Mia brings another dimension, so teams can’t just shade Gracie’s (Dodgen) side, and lock down on her side. It brings us another good weapon offensively that can score and produce double-figure games and double-figure rebounds.”
Murray echoes a lot of that, saying she brings more energy to the court and the ability to find other players on the court.
“(I just try to) crash the boards, and be a playmaker,” Murray said. “Getting people the ball and getting them where they need to be (is a focus of mine).”
The Warriorettes are rolling early in the season, as they have put together dominant victories over many teams they’ve played and their game against Coffee served as a notice that they don’t shy away in the big moments. When your team is rolling like they are, finding areas to improve and continue excelling in may be a challenge.
Not for this team, however.
“(We need) to continue to pass the ball like we are,” Murray said. “Continue getting assists, rebounds and looking for each other instead of worrying about ourselves (will keep this streak going).”