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BUCKNER – The moment couldn’t have been any better for Oldham County’s Ashley McMurtrey.
It happened on her home floor, in front of all her friends and family and in a Lady Colonel win.
McMurtrey scored her 2,000th point on a low post shot in the third quarter of OC’s 63-38 win Thursday over Bullitt Central. McMurtrey, who scored 31 points during the game and now has 2,012 for her career, joined current University of Tennessee assistant coach Kyra Elzy as the only OC girls basketball players to score 2,000 points in their careers.
“It’s relieving and it’s exciting,” McMurtrey said. “I’m just glad I got to experience with the teammates I did and being able to enjoy it with my family all being here and supporting me.”
McMurtrey has been playing varsity for the Lady Colonels (6-6) since her 8th grade season. The last two of those seasons have been played under current OC coach Jace Bryant.
“The equalizer in basketball is putting the ball in the hole,” Bryant said. “You can play as hard as you want, you can play as good defense as you want, but if you can’t put the ball in the hole then you’re not going to be successful.
“Ashley just has a knack for scoring. When she scores it makes us better defensively. So I’ve enjoyed coaching her. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her because she’s a good kid too. Take away basketball, Ashley’s still somebody I’m glad I got to know. She’s got a great family and she’s a good kid.”
McMurtrey has had a string of productive games. Last Friday she scored 24 points, including the game’s last seven, as OC beat South Oldham in Crestwood. Monday night she scored 29 points and tallied 10 rebounds and four assists in the Lady Colonels’ 53-50 road win against Holy Cross (Louisville).
Then Thursday McMurtrey scored 17 points in the first half against the Lady Cougars (7-8), giving her 1,998 points her career and helping OC to a 25-20 halftime lead.
McMurtrey got the ball early in the third quarter in the post and made a move to score and join the exclusive 2,000-point club.
“We have a special play that, if there’s someone guarding me that’s smaller than me, I can usually score off of,” McMurtrey said. “So we called it and I really didn’t even think of it while I was shooting it but after I scored everybody started cheering and I realized what I’d done. That’s when I got excited.”
The game was stopped and McMurtrey was honored for the accomplishment.
“This is a team sport and we’re more concerned about team accomplishments,” Bryant said. “When something like this happens though, this doesn’t come around much.
“So even though it’s a team sport, we’re going to stop and recognize this because this is a huge accomplishment. We’ve had a team here since 1972 and only two girls have ever got to 2,000.”
OC rode that moment to a blistering third quarter in which it out-scored Bullitt Central 19-4. From there the Lady Colonels coasted to the win.
McMurtrey shot 10-of-13 in the win, pulling down three rebounds and tallying three assists. Junior center Abigail Stewart scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds, while senior forward Jenna Kirk scored eight points and pulled in 15 boards.
Alexis Graham led the Lady Cougars with 11 points Thursday.
McMurtrey said she’s glad she’s finally reached the 2,000-point plateau and can now focus solely on finishing the season strong in preparation for the District 29 Tournament.
“The fact that it was at home, it’s awesome,” McMurtrey said. “I got to have all my close friends and family here to see it happen.
“Now I can focus on winning and not have to focus on points, just get it out of the way.”
Bullitt Central – 8, 12, 4, 14 – 38
Oldham County – 14, 11, 19, 19 – 63
Bullitt Central – L. Graham 11, Richardson 10, McKnight 5, Still 5, Johns 3, S. Graham 2, Ross 1, Toogood 1
Oldham County – McMurtrey 31, Stewart 12, Kirk 8, Davis 5, Wernert 4, Patrick 3
OTHER THURSDAY SCORES
Male 65, South Oldham 46