FRANKFORT — Ally Mayhaus was the unlikely heroine for Covington Holy Cross in the girls' Touchstone Energy All "A" Classic finals Sunday afternoon in the Frankfort Convention Center.
After teammate Deja Turner hit two free throws to pull Holy Cross to within 46-45 of Murray with :12 left, the Indians forced a turnover on the in-bounds play.
Who would step up and take a possible game-winning shot for Holy Cross?
It turned out to be Mayhaus, a 6-foot-2 senior who had missed seven of nine shots up to that point.
When she got the ball along the left baseline, she didn't hesitate.
"I was wide open, I knew we only had a few seconds left, so I knew I had to drive to get the win," she said.
She drove for a wide-open layup that put the Indians ahead 47-46 with :09 left.
Murray hurried down the court and Alexis Burpo took a 15-footer just ahead of the buzzer, but it fell short.
Holy Cross' players, coaches and fans erupted in celebration of the school's first small-school title. Mayhaus couldn't hold back tears of joy as she was swarmed by her teammates.
Indians Coach Kes Murphy praised Mayhaus for "having the courage" to step up at crunch time even though she was having a rough day.
"Since day one we've been preaching you keep on keepin' on and eventually things will go your way. Ally kept on keepin' on. What an awesome shot."
Turner, a 5-8 senior who led Holy Cross with 14 points and was voted tournament MVP, had faith in Mayhaus.
"I knew one of her shots was going to fall, and it just happened to be that one," Turner said. "I'm so happy she kept her head in the game and kept pushing."
Mayhaus finished with nine points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots.
Dajah McClendon had nine points and eight assists for the winners.
Murray, which was rated the All "A" favorite just ahead of Holy Cross, rallied from a 39-30 deficit. The Tigers tied it at 42-42 on Maddie Waldrop's two free throws.
Murray led 46-43 after Elizabeth Grogan cashed a pair of foul shots with :23 left.
The Tigers then fouled Turner before Holy Cross could try a three-pointer.
Turner hit both free throws to make it 46-45, and Murray Coach Rechelle Turner felt good about the strategy.
"All we needed to do was get the ball in and get to the foul line," Turner said. "We just didn't execute. We kind of panicked. But those things happen.
"Give Holy Cross credit. They never quit. They're a great basketball team."
Waldrop, a 6-2 sophomore, led Murray with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Grogran hit four threes and had 14 points. Macey Turley added 12 points and four assists.
This was Murray's 11th All "A" appearance under Turner, and its first time in the finals.
"We'll definitely come back next year and try to get back to this game," Turner said. "This was a great experience, and hopefully it'll make our girls hungry for more."