Four years ago, Lori Murphy was a senior terrorizing opposing guards in the CNC Conference.



Four short years later, the 2006 Girard graduate is now a head coach – although her dream was to be a directing a team in the CNC – she’s just as content taking the reins of the girls program at Northeast High School.



A new coach and a new league affiliation set the tone for the boys and girls basketball programs at Northeast as the Vikings prepare for their inaugural season in the Three Rivers League.

Four years ago, Lori Murphy was a senior terrorizing opposing guards in the CNC Conference.

Four short years later, the 2006 Girard graduate is now a head coach – although her dream was to be a directing a team in the CNC – she’s just as content taking the reins of the girls program at Northeast High School.

A new coach and a new league affiliation set the tone for the boys and girls basketball programs at Northeast as the Vikings prepare for their inaugural season in the Three Rivers League.

Murphy, who played a year of college basketball at Neosho County Community College in Chanute, graduated from Pittsburg State University in May and quickly landed her first head coaching job at Northeast after spending the past three seasons as an assistant at Frontenac.

“I never expected it to happen so fast,” said Murphy who herself looks like she could still suit up and dribble through full-court pressure.

“I had an offer to teach and coach here and it was something I’ve always a wanted to do.”

Murphy inherits a Viking squad who posted an 8-13 overall record last season and was 1-7 in their exit season from the CNC.

Welcome to the Three Rivers League, where St. Paul is the perennial power and league foes include Uniontown, Oswego, Marmaton Valley, Crest, Pleasanton, Altoona-Midway and Chetopa.

“We know St. Paul is going to be tough, but we will see some of our league teams in the Marmaton Valley Tournament to get a good idea what style of play to expect and what we will need to do to prepare for those opponents,” Murphy said. “Our focus has been to focus on improving our fundamentals. Several of our players possess good fundamentals, but not at the level where we need to be.

“I would like for them to be more aggressive on defense, I would prefer we use a full-court man-to-man defense or a half-court trap defense.”

The Vikings return four starters led by senior guard Britney Clark, an honorable mention all-CNC performer last season who averaged 10.7 points per game. She will be joined in the backcourt by senior guard Lina Hensly who averaged 1.6 assists per game.

Senior post Khristen Dwyer averaged 5.4 rebounds per game and .7 blocks. She returns to patrol the paint while junior guard Shelby Lehman brings her shooting touch and ball handling skills to a third guard position.

Senior guards Katie Amershek and Mandy Cameron, senior forward Melinda Brooksher and junior guard/forward Jessica Choate are competing for the fifth starting spot.

“I think we have solid eight player rotation that we could put any combination of the eight on the floor and not miss a beat,” Murphy said. “We want to play a style where we push the pace, focus on defensive rebounds, quick outlet passes, one pass, two pass and open lay-ups, we’re going to have to rotate in fresh guards.”