Murray girls basketball hanging around top of Region 10Feb 09, 2024 02:20PM ● By Josh McFadden
The move to Region 10 from Region 6 hasn’t been without a few bumps in the road for the Murray girls basketball team. Still, the Spartans have enjoyed a successful season facing a cast of new opponents.
Murray won four of its first six region games, putting it in third place at the halfway point of the season. Overall, Murray was 9-7 at this point, winning as many games as it had all of last season when it was 9-13. The Spartans are 12th in the RPI rankings in Class 4A. The state tournament starts Feb. 20.
Murray’s offense has been solid in region play, averaging 58.3 points an outing. The defense has been outstanding, as Murray has allowed just over 38 points a game. Even in defeat, Murray hasn’t allowed more than 51 points in region games. The Spartans defeated Stansbury 59-37 on Jan. 10, Tooele 61-46 on Jan. 12, Park City 69-25 on Jan. 16 and Hillcrest 74-22 on Jan. 19.
Senior guard Mia AuClaire has led the way for Murray.
AuClaire is one of 4A’s top scorers, and she paced Murray with 18.9 points an outing. AuClaire hit the 20-point mark in 10 of the team’s first 16 games. Her top game during this span was a 29-point performance Dec. 12 at home against Farmington. She also had 27 points Jan. 23 at home against Jordan in a loss. AuClaire hit a team-best 42 three-pointers during this stretch and also averaged three rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.6 steals a game.
Charlotte Scherbel, a junior guard, has also stepped up to be a major force for the Spartans. After scoring 4.7 points per game a year ago, Scherbel now totals 10.4 points per game, second on the team. She is also second in rebounding with a 3.8 average and paces the team with 2.4 assists per game. She’s also second behind AuClaire in steals. Senior guard Vanessa Anaafi is another player to keep an eye on. She scores 4.6 points and hauls down 2.8 rebounds a game. Senior post player Lexi Davies scores just over four points a game and is the leader for the Spartans in rebounding with more than six a contest.
Murray plays each region opponent twice, with the regular season ending at Jordan Feb. 16. The Spartans will aim to do what they couldn’t do a season ago: win a state tournament game. Murray fell to Woods Cross in the 5A first round last season. The last time Murray tasted a postseason victory was in 2021 when it defeated Payson in the first round of the 5A playoffs. λ