‘The best ever:’ Mercer County girls basketball senior class has five sign to play in college
Published 10:47 pm Monday, November 13, 2017
They started together and decided that they wanted to finish together.
Five Mercer County girls basketball seniors — Faith and Lexy Lake, Emma Davis, Emmy Souder and Seygan Robins — had a signing ceremony Monday at Mercer County High School to play college basketball.
Head coach Chris Souder didn’t hold back when he introduced the group.
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“They’ve made me look like a pretty good coach over the years,” he said. “This bunch is rare and unique. They are the hardest working, most humble kids that I’ve been around. In terms of being great role models for the young ones, we talk about it all the time, and I tell them all the time, I told them, we’ve got a ring … but we’re going to go for another one. I can argue this with all kinds of people. Regardless of what happens, I think that this bunch right here … this could go down as one of the greatest girls basketball teams in the history of the high school athletic association.”
And the numbers back him up.
The 2018 class of Titans have all five signed scholarships to play basketball in college. They have five district championships. They were the first team in 44 years to win the 12th Region three years in a row, from 2015-17, Souder said. They could make it four this year.
They made the Final Four in 2016 and won the state championship in 2017.
By the end of the 2017-18 season, all five could be 1,000 point scorers. Right now, they’re all over 900 career points.
“How many teams in the state of Kentucky, in the history of this game, had at one time will have five seniors all over 1,000 points?” Coach Souder said. “That’s what I’m talking about, that’s the epitome of a team. That’s what I’m talking about being one of the greatest teams of all time. Not talking about wins, nets. I’d challenge anybody to do what they’ve done, their togetherness … What they have done has been super impressive.
“In small town Harrodsburg, Mercer County, it just doesn’t happen. Go back and look at the record books … These kids are Mercer County girls. Which makes it even more impressive.”
Twins Faith and Lexy Lake will attend Campbellsville to play college basketball.
“I first started coaching them when they were in middle school and I couldn’t tell them apart,” coach Souder said. “They’re twins, but their games are completely different. Both have, since I’ve known them, have really come out of their shell. Lexy is a pure shooter, gets mad if she misses. Faith is very versatile, she can literally play any spot on the floor. She’s played the point, she’s played the post, she can play it all. Both are relentless workers, you can’t make them tired.
“Campbellsville is getting, in my opinion, a major steal. These girls turned down D-1 offers, they wanted to stay closer to home. If anybody knows anything at all about the Campbellsville girls basketball program, it’s one of the best in the country. They like to shoot the three … it’s a great fit for Faith and Lexy.”
Emma Davis is going to UT-Martin.
“She’s a very explosive, very versatile player,” coach Souder said. “She can score in droves. I think in the Murray game in the Final Four, she scored 15 points in about a minute and a half. The thing I say about Emma is, she has 922 points, she’s been the sixth man. How many players in the state of Kentucky that are the sixth man have 922 points going into their senior year?
“This young lady never complained. She’d start for any team in the 12th Region and probably any high school team in the state of Kentucky. Once again, she’s one of the reasons why she has that ring on and we’re the way that we are. The role that she was fine with and never once complained. Her role is going to change this year and we’ve kind of talked about that. Her upside to me, is off the charts. I told coach (Kevin) McMillan at UT Martin, ‘she’ll be an all-conference player before she’s a senior.’ She has no clue how good she’s going to be.”
Emmy Souder will play at Northern Kentucky. Coach Souder noted that 750 of her 910 career points have come in the last two years.
“She’s another one, her upside is tremendous and her work ethic is off of the charts,” coach Souder said. “She’s a true ‘stretch four,’ what they call it. She’s a matchup nightmare. We’ve been working hard on doing some things with her back to the basket … so she can be even more versatile.
“This young lady, the progress that she’s made over the past years, I don’t know that I’ve had a player improve like she has. That just comes from hard work, doing what we ask her to do, wanting to be in the gym and trying to get better.”
Seygan Robins will attend Louisville and has scored 2,124 points in her career.
“Seygan is kind of one of a kind in terms of players,” coach Souder said. “We brought her up as a sixth grader. We used to talk about it, how good she was going to be … In terms of basketball, I’ve never coached anybody like her. She’s the best player this school has ever had, maybe the best one ever to come through here.”
Coach Souder shared what Louisville head coach Jeff Walz told him about Robins last year.
“This young lady right here … coach Walz told me last year, because of this young lady’s motor, this young lady can play for me right now,” he said. “That’s a top five team in the country. Just because she’s not going to get outworked. She’s going to do whatever she has to do to get herself on the floor. I appreciate that because, to me, it has spread program-wide. And if you don’t have a leader like that, and I’m not saying these young ladies haven’t because this is one phenomenal class, but I used to tell her all the time when she was younger, ‘they are waiting on you. They are waiting on you. They’re going to follow your lead.’ I couldn’t be prouder.”
Coach Souder also said that Robins should be the Mrs. Basketball winner for the upcoming season.
“If Seygan doesn’t win Mrs. Basketball, they should do away with the award,” he said. “That’s just my opinion. Because to me, Mrs. Basketball is supposed to be what you do for your team. Not necessarily who scores the most points. But what you do for your basketball team. What more could you ask for, what more could she do? There’s not a more deserving player in the state than Seygan Robins.”
The five players will defend their state championship this year, and coach Souder said that they have been eager to get back in the gym.
“They understand the x is bigger on their back, but we’ll start back up with the same thing, our goals are the same,” he said. “We’d like to go after it again, we’ve got as good of a shot as anybody. I like my team coming back, so it’ll be another fun year.”
3.93 team GPA
All five signing scholarships — $500,000 — to play the game of basketball
Five district championships
One regional runner-up
Three regional championships — first time in 44 years that the 12th Region has been won three years in a row
One final four
One state championship
5,961 points from those five girls
By the end of the year, all five will be 1,000 point scorers —
Record to date: 144-31