MURRAY Â- When McCracken County sophomore Maddye Rice went down with a broken right foot earlier this year, the Lady Mustangs seemed to be in a poor position. But that's when senior Jacqueline Roof stepped up to spark their season.
"She's played great," Lady Mustangs coach Joshua Barnett said. "She understood - especially early on after Maddye went down - she would have to do more for us. She just comes in and takes care of business."
Roof provided a game-high 21 points in her team's 55-33 first-round Region 1 girls basketball tournament win against Carlisle County on Friday at Murray State. The victory puts the Lady Mustangs in the Region 1 semifinals in their first year of play.
"It means a lot from an experience standpoint and a confidence standpoint," Barnett said. "We want them to believe in themselves and believe we can get here and we can compete. I don't know if many people thought we could when we experienced the injuries that we did. The girls did and that's a big reason why we're here."
The Lady Mustangs (16-16) controlled the game from the start, jumping to a 16-6 lead after the first quarter and 33-13 at halftime. Alex Smith and Lexie Baer added 13 and 10 points as the only other Lady Mustangs in double digits.
Carlisle County's Heaven Hooper led the Lady Comets (9-17) with 13 points and nine rebounds.
McCracken will play Murray (27-5) on Sunday at 3:45 p.m. in the Region 1 semifinals. The Lady Tigers beat Graves County 60-56 on Friday night in their quarterfinal. Freshman Maddie Waldrop led the Lady Tigers with 34 points and added 18 rebounds, blocked seven shots and drew 16 fouls.
All of this came while dealing with severe leg cramps throughout the second half.
"What a gutsy performance," Lady Tigers coach Rechelle Turner said. "She was hurting."
With the loss, Graves County coach Amy Carrico announced she was resigning after five years leading the Lady Eagles (21-8).
"God has called me to bigger things," she said, adding she'll have a second child in September. "For a long time, I felt like I put my faith on the backburner. It's time for me to take another step. I feel like this is the step I need to take. The girls are going to be fine. My goal starting in this program was getting it back to a successful one."
Added Turner: "(Graves is) coached by, in my opinion, the best coach in the region. She has them prepared every single night."
With the semifinals approaching, Barnett recognizes the challenge his team will face in the Lady Tigers. The Lady Mustangs lost to Murray 81-55 earlier this season.
"They have all those 6-footers they can put out there," he said. "They have a great point guard and a good shooter. It's a big challenge."
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McCracken County 16 33 45 55
Carlisle County 6 13 21 33
MCCRACKEN COUNTY - Lexie Baer 10, Alex Smith 13, Lemus 0, Perry 0, Jacqueline Roof 21, Kidd 0, Weir 1, Gordham 0, Telfair 7, Womack 0, Schmidt 0, Rocha 2, Lowery 1.
Field goals 20/46. 3-pointers 4/16 (Roof 3, Smith). Free throws 11/16. Rebounds 29. Fouls 16.
CARLISLE COUNTY - Thomas 0, Morris 1, Case 5, Thomas 1, Garrett 3, Smith 0, Edging 4, Sams 2, Edging 2, Hicks 2, Heaven Hooper 13.
Field goals 11/32. 3-pointers 1/3 (Case). Free throws 10/17. Rebounds 25. Fouls 14.
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Murray 12 24 35 60
Graves County 6 23 38 56
MURRAY -- Ma. Turley 6, Armstrong 0, Maddie Waldrop 34, House 0, Glynn 0, Thiede 2, Ramey 5, Grogan 9, Clark 4.
Field goals 15/34. 3-pointers 2/7 (Grogan). Free throws 28/43. Rebounds 40. Fouls 20.
GRAVES COUNTY -- Martin 7, Whitnell 0, Cartwright 6, Taylor West 10, Mayes 5, Wiggins 4, Barton 2, Bailey Hawkins 19, Coleman 0, Adkins 3, Green 0.
Field goals 18/50. 3-pointers 5/12 (Hawkins 2, Adkins, Mayes, Cartwright). Free throws 15/25. Rebounds 25. Fouls 31.
Call Daniel Paulling, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8662, or follow on Twitter @DanielPaulling.
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