Murr breaks Lady Crusader scoring record
Anna Murr has a lot of her Grace Christian basketball career still to go, and the Lady Crusaders have plenty ahead of them this season, including high hopes in the postseason.
Individually, Murr - in her junior season - became Grace Christian's all-time leading scorer in Grace's 62-43 victory over visiting Cresset Christian Monday night. Murr scored 22 points reaching 1,989 career points, breaking Jourdan Frye's 10-year-old school record. Fittingly, the record-setting points came on Murr draining a three-pointer early in the second quarter. It was one of three treys on the night for Murr, taking her Crusader career total to 267 three-pointers.
Even if it hadn't been the night for the new record, it was a key night for the Lady Crusaders. Grace Christian (20-3, 10-0) topped the only other undefeated squad left in the Carolina Christian Conference taking a 1.5-game lead atop the CCC with three conference games to play.
Senior Brooke Strickland led Grace with 28 points, eight rebounds, eight steals and six assists. Strickland was busy at both ends of the court throughout the second half, including in a 15-1 Grace run which took a slim 4-point lead late in the third quarter to a 54-36 lead with 6:28 left in the game.
Strickland, Murr and freshman point guard Alexis Ross, who scored 12 points, tallied all 62 Lady Crusader points.
Murr finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Along with becoming the school's all-time best scorer as a junior, her Lady Crusader career already has all-conference, NCISAA All-State and NACA All-American honors to it.
"As her dad and her coach, I am super proud of her," said head coach Joel Murr, who coached Frye as well.
"I remember watching as a little girl when Jourdan broke the scoring record," Anna said. "She was such a great player and I knew then I wanted to be good."
Cresset Christian (9-6, 8-1) traded the lead with the Lady Crusaders in the early minutes, led by seven points by Melissa Devlin in the first period. Cresset troubled the hosts some with a height advantage. The Lady Crusader running game along with stretches of hot shooting proved too much for the Lady Eagles.
The Lady Crusaders ran off the last eight points of the first period for an 18-13 lead and Murr hit a three-pointer on the first Grace trip of the second quarter for 11 straight points.
Ross turned a defensive rebound into a 1-on-2 fast break and a floating 10-foot basket in the lane for a 25-19 Grace lead. Moments later, Strickland drove inside and found Murr set on a wing for another three-pointer to take the lead to 28-19. Grace Christian led 34-25 at halftime.
Cresset trimmed the Lady Crusader margin to 39-35 before more quick-strike Crusader scoring.
Abby Strickland got a steal, then assist to Brooke Strickland for a lay-up. Off the next Lady Eagle possession, Brooke Strickland took a rebound and sent a quick pass up to Ross for a breakaway lay-up and a 45-35 Grace lead with a little more than a minute left in the quarter.
Strickland scored nine of the 13 Grace points in the third period and scored 15 points in the second half. Ross added six rebounds and four steals.
For Cresset, Devlin scored 15 points and Maggie Addison had 14 points.
"We are really having a great year and (Anna) and I both are more concerned about how we finish than any personal accolades," Joel Murr said.
"I love the game of basketball but I know that I would have never been able to accomplish the things I have without the Lord and without the great teammates and coaches He has surrounded me with," Anna said. "The scoring record is something that is shared by a lot of people.”
Grace Christian played host to city and CCC rival Lee Christian last night. The Lady Crusaders will host Fayetteville Academy Thursday evening at 5:45 p.m.