Dwayne Murray, the veteran basketball coach at Monroe County High School, has been through the rigors of tournament time for years. He’s experienced several successful years with the Lady Falcons so the playoffs don’t get Murray too worked up.
That’s why he’s pretty calm as he prepares his team for next week’s District 15 Girls Basketball Tournament at Glasgow High School. The Lady Falcons open play Monday against the host Lady Scotties. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.
“I feel pretty good about where we are right now. I love my team and I feel confident with them,” Murray said. “They’re doing a great job right now, they’re playing hard. That’s what I like about them the most.”
Monroe County has lost all three meetings to Glasgow during the regular season. However, on Feb. 4, the Lady Falcons went on the road and took the Lady Scotties to the wire before dropping a narrow 56-53 decision.
“Playing a difficult regular season helps you as you prepare for the playoffs. Playing an easy schedule doesn’t prepare you for the playoffs,” Murray explained. “We’ve got Glasgow, Allen County and Barren in our district. We’ve got Bowling Green and a really tough fourth region. Then we go out of the region and play some tough teams.”
And they will face another tough team in Glasgow.
“With Glasgow, their size gives us some problems. We’ve got to figure out how we’re going to shut down Shalika Smith and Breanna Glover, and how to keep them from going crazy on us,” Murray said. “Then we have to find their guards because their guards do a good job of shooting the ball and taking it to the basket.
“We’ve got to rebound well against them, we’ve got to hit our free throws and we’ve got to make some shots. We can’t give a team like Glasgow second opportunities at the basket. And if you don’t do those things, that’s the balsamer.”
Monroe County is going into Monday’s contest on a high note, winners in each of its last five games.
“You have to see how your team is playing that night. If we’re hitting our shots, we’re going to try and run more offense. If we’re not, we will change somethings,” Murray explained.
“You have to use your strengths against teams and try to use other team’s weaknesses against them. We all have strengths and weaknesses and we’re going to try and expose the weaknesses of the other team. I believe we’re becoming more confident and they believe they can beat Glasgow.”
One obstacle Monroe County will have to overcome is homecourt advantage. The district tournament is being played on Glasgow’s floor.
“Homecourt advantage, I figure, gives a team at least 10 points extra,” Murray said. “It’s the atmosphere. Glasgow plays in that kind of atmosphere every night when they play at home. We don’t play in that atmosphere.
“One of the keys for me is you have to get some breaks during the game. The ball has to bounce your way. There are a lot of different variables. Those breaks are very important.”