As one of the taller players on Paducah Tilghman's girls basketball team, Karlee Humphrey is expected to play a big role under the basket hitting the easy shots and grabbing rebounds.
However, Humphrey has proven quite the threat on the outside as well. With the Second District championship on the line against McCracken County at the Strawberry Hills Pharmacy Arena, Humphrey sank four 3-pointers as part of her game-high 21 points that helped the Lady Tornado pull away for the 59-39 triumph Thursday night.
"Hitting them from downtown is always fun and exciting," Humphrey said during the postgame celebration. "I try to be as versatile as possible. If inside isn't working, I'm gonna go outside and outside was on today."
In the first quarter, the inside was not working for anyone on the Lady Tornado. Paducah got its first points off 3-pointers by Humphrey and Alex Kohler. When right underneath the basket, Tilghman's shots kept clanging off the rim and the Lady Mustangs were able to keep it close. Tilghman did lead 10-6 after the first period.
"We came out with a lot of energy and passion," Lady Tornado coach Rodrick Thomas said of his squad. "I thought they did a great job of setting the tone early."
Tilghman really got into gear in the second quarter. After McCracken cut the lead to 10-8, Paducah scored 13 unanswered points over a two-minute span. Kohler made a 3-point play and Humphrey hit two more from behind the arc. Whenever the Lady Mustangs tried to get on the board, Jalisa Smith was there for a possession-ending rebound.
Mariah Donelson closed the first half by nailing a 3-pointer from the far right side of the court. Her shot made it 30-12. The game was never in doubt after that, although McCracken did stay close through the third.
Jacqueline Roof and Alex Smith shared high-scoring honors for the Lady Mustangs with 12 points apiece. Roof also hit the team's only 3-pointer. Kohler finished with 14 points and Donelson wound up with 10.
Humphrey, Kohler, Roof and Smith made the All-Second District team along with Tilghman's Joya Smith, McCracken's Maddye Rice and Kaylyn Telfair, St. Mary's Casey Kupper and Alex Durbin plus Community Christian's Payton Carter.
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Paducah Tilghman 10 30 42 59
McCracken County 6 12 25 39
TILGHMAN - Gardner 2, Donelson 10, Shapiro 2, Shaw, Kohler 14, Mayes, Humphrey 21, Jo. Smith 6, Ja. Smith 4, Horne.
Field goals 22/48. 3-pointers 7/12 (Humphrey 4, Donelson 2, Kohler). Free throws 8/18. Record 22-8.
MCCRACKEN - Baer 5, Smith 12, Lemus 2, Perry, Roof 12, Kidd 2, Weir 2, Telfair 4, Womack, Lowery.
Field goals 11/38. 3-pointers 1/9 (Roof). Free throws 16/21. Record 15-16.
Contact Jon Futrell, a Paducah Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8664