TRINITY, NC – The Murphy Bulldogs got a pair of 22-point performances from Torin Rogers and Sarah Pullium to boost the Bulldogs to the program’s fourth State Championship and a 76-34 victory over Princeton. The win gave Murphy back-to-back Championships after sharing last year’s title with Weldon when the Board of Directors awarded Co-State Championships to the Regional Champions as the State Finals were postponed and then ultimately cancelled due to COVID-19.
After a solid start to the game, Princeton trailed Murphy 19-14 through a quarter. After that, the Murphy defense shut down Princeton, never allowing more than 9 points in a single quarter. Murphy’s Rogers was named the Kay Yow 1A Women’s Basketball Championship Game MVP with her 22 points and 10 rebounds to go with three assists and four steals.
Sarah Pulliam picked up Most Outstanding Player honors for Murphy with 22 points and 8 rebounds of her own. She also added a pair of assists and four steals. Kaiya Pickens was a huge threat from beyond the arc for Murphy, nailing four three-pointers on her way to 18 points.
Meredith Wooten was the lone Princeton scorer in double figures, putting up 13 points and five rebounds. However, teammate Anna Taylor grabbed the Most Outstanding Player honors for Princeton with nine points, three assists, two rebounds and four steals.
Murphy finished the season 16-2, 10-2 in the Smoky Mountain 1A Conference, where they finished second behind Robbinsville. The Bulldogs avenged their only losses of the season in the third round when they knocked out the Black Knights 49-37. Murphy won the school’s fifth Regional Championship and the program’s fourth State Championship.
Princeton concluded the season 16-1. They were 8-0 in the Carolina 1A where they were the champions. The Bulldogs won their program’s fourth regional championship and appeared in the NCHSAA State Championship Game for the first time since 1986.
The NCHSAA is committed to promoting and honoring outstanding sportsmanship and has partnered with the NC Farm Bureau to award Sportsmanship Awards to one athlete from each of the participating teams to recognize excellence in sportsmanship throughout the year. The Sportsmanship Award winners for the game were Le’onna Nelson from Princeton and Taylor Phillips from Murphy.