Murray freshman Maddie Waldrop spent Wednesday thinking she didn't have a chance of winning the Paducah Sun All Purchase Girls Basketball Player of the Year award. She admitted to being shocked when she learned she had won.
"I was surprised because I'm a freshman," Waldrop said. "I just thought somebody older would get it."
Her win, which came through a vote by area coaches, shouldn't be a surprise. Waldrop, a 6-foot-2 center, averaged 16.5 points and 9.1 rebounds for the Lady Tigers, who went 28-6 and made the First Region championship.
Perhaps her best game came in the first round of that tournament. In a 60-56 win against Graves County, she scored 34 points, collected 18 rebounds and blocked seven shots. Waldrop also drew 16 fouls, her 18 made free throws helping the Lady Tigers ice the game late.
The performance, Marshall County coach Joseph Simmons said, made her seem like an All-American.
"That game, she just took over and led us to victory," said Lady Tigers coach Rechelle Turner, who was named the All Purchase Girls Basketball Coach of the Year. "For a 15-year-old kid to do that just says a whole lot about her. For her to take over a game like that just goes to show not only is she talented, but she's confident in her own abilities. When you have a player like that, you feel like you have a chance to win."
Turner is grateful for the opportunity to coach Waldrop for another three years. She saw Waldrop increase her shooting range but would like to see Waldrop add between 10 and 15 pounds of muscle to become more physically dominating in the paint.
"I think that's going to come with age," Turner said. "She's going to be more difficult to guard."
Hubert caps stellar career with All Purchase award
St. Mary senior Patrick Hubert was happy to win the Paducah Sun All Purchase Boys Player of the Year award, but he made sure to credit his teammates. Without them, he believes, he wouldn't have been as good as he was.
"If I didn't have those guys going hard in the gym," Hubert said, "I couldn't get better."
His award, which he won through a vote by area coaches, comes after averaging 19 points and five rebounds.
He finished his career with more than 2,000 points and 650 rebounds and was named the KABC First Region boys basketball player of the year this season.
"Obviously he's been a special player," said Vikings coach Greg Overstreet, who was named the All Purchase Boys Coach of the Year. "You hate to see someone like that leave, but it's time for him to move on."
Hubert wants to play basketball in college but isn't sure where. He said he'll make his decision in two weeks after final visits to the schools he's interested in, which include Bethel, Olney, Vincennes and Western Kentucky.
Call Daniel Paulling, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8662, or follow on Twitter @DanielPaulling.