Turner girls want second State trip

The Turner Falcons girls basketball team broke ground last year by making the Class A state tournament.

This season, with four returning starters, the expectations are no different.

"We just lost one girl, and she was really a good one, but our expectations are as high as they've ever been," Turner coach Shane Hill said.

"They'd probably be really disappointed if we're not playing in the state tournament.

"That's a far cry from where we had been. We've come a long way in four years."

In 2011-12, the Falcons went 28-3, their best season in school history, en route to state before falling in the first round to Coppan 62-40. At the time, Hill said the Falcons expected on being back in the state tournament, and he'll make that push again with a group of well-seasoned players.

Seniors Taylor Foster and Conner Harmon are each four-year starters for the Falcons. Harmon, a three-time All-Ardmoreite Super Team selection, is an all-around forward who is expected to pace the team in several categories. Her inside presence will be key after the graduation of All-State post player Hannah Stevens.

Harmon averaged 18.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 3.1 assists per game as a junior.

"She is the type of player that refuses to lose," Hill said of Harmon. "She's a great one to have. Her competitiveness is unbelievable.

"She can score inside, outside and from the free-throw line. I'm not too concerned with her. We're gonna have to do some adjusting on the defensive end, and even in scoring. A lot of people are gonna have to step up and contribute and fill the vacant shoes."

Foster (7.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.1 spg) and three-year starter Andi McGill (11.8 ppg, 6.6 apg, 4.6 spg) make up the Falcons' experienced backcourt. McGill was an All-Ardmoreite Super Teamer as a sophomore, while Foster was a first-team selection.

"Taylor has worked so hard on her game," "She's become a great outside shooter that people can't come off and help," Hill said. "That's because she's spent so many hours in the gym.

"Andi is such a great athlete as far as quickness and ballhandling. She's another one of them that refuses to lose. She loves the game, and you can tell that by just watching her play."

Turner will open the season tonight against Class 2A Colbert, which Hill expects to be ranked in the top 10.

Erik K. Horne