Francis Scott Key senior guard Erin Murphey began playing basketball her freshman year.
There were no recreation leagues before that, not a basketball in sight at the Murphey household, and she will tell you she didn't really like the sport all that much back then.
A naturally gifted athlete (she also is a standout in soccer and softball), basketball was her only option in the winter and she made the most out of her four years playing at Key.
It culminated this season, when Murphey helped lead the Eagles to the region championship -- their first playoff appearance since the 1990 season. Along the way, she became Key's career all-time leading scorer with 976 points -- including 355 during the regular season this year for a county-best 16.1 average.
"We had a great year, and it was a total team effort. That was the key to our success. Everyone got along real well, and we had fun," Murphey said.
Murphey brought much more than a 16-point scoring average to the court. Whether it be a key steal, a big rebound or a crucial pair of free throws down the stretch, more times than not Murphey was up for the task.
Those efforts made her The Baltimore Sun's 1992-93 Carroll County Girls Basketball North Carroll senior forward Michele Jeffery was a close second for the honor. She was the heart and soul of a Panthers team that went 18-6 and advanced to its region finals.
After two straight struggling seasons, Francis Scott Key turned things around in 1992-93, winning 11 games and reaching the playoffs.
In the two prior seasons, Murphey and fellow senior guard Shelley Smith carried much of the burden.
With help up front this season, the Eagles had more options, yet Murphey still improved her offensive numbers from her junior year. She finished the year averaging 5.2 rebounds, coming up with 79 steals and dishing out 55 assists.
"Going into the season she said she wasn't going to set any goals for herself to put any more pressure on herself, and I think it helped," said Key coach Brian Hollingsworth. She played very relaxed and had a tremendous season. She's a very hard worker and always trying to make herself better in everything she does."
The first team at a glance
North Carroll, Sr., guard
Clearly the county's best pure point guard, Douglas had 116 assists this season and finished her career as the Panthers' all-time leader in that category. All season, she did a great job getting the ball inside to Michele Jeffery with great court vision and creative passing. She also had the ability to take things into her own hands down the stretch. Along with averaging 6.4 points, she finished third in the county with 72 steals.
North Carroll, Sr., forward
The county's dominant forward, Jeffery averaged 15.9 points (second best in the county) and a county-leading 12.2 rebounds. A relentless worker who always drew attention from opposing defenses, Jeffery was a major reason the Panthers ran away with the county title and stayed in the metro area's top 20 poll.
Westminster, Sr., forward
Warfield came into the season as one of the county's top defensive forwards and, by season's end, blossomed into the Owls' top offensive threat. She scored a career-high 30 points in a loss to county champ North Carroll and finished the season averaging just over 10. She made 170 rebounds and was third in the county with 39 steals.
Liberty, Sr., guard/forward
Perhaps the county's most versatile player, Wolff did a little bit of everything for the Lions and often did it despite double- and triple-teams. She led the county in steals (105), finished third in scoring (15.4 ppg), was fifth in assists with 60 and also had 154 rebounds.