Looking Back: Rechelle Turner



It wasn’t long before Turner joined the Lady Marshals’ pantheon of stars herself. After excelling at North Marshall Middle School, she moved into the MCHS starting lineup in her freshman year. And, she was equal parts ecstatic and terrified.

"My first start came at the LIT in Louisville,” she recalled. “We were playing Manual and they had Samantha Williams, and coach Beth told me right before the game that I was going to start. And I started crying and didn’t know what to think.

"l was just scared to death. I remember gomg out to the floor and looking up in the stands and telling my “mom that I was going to start. And I think she was even more nervous than I was."

Of course, it wasn’t her first trip to the LIT. As a loyal Lady Marshal fan, she had made the trip along with her parents on numerous occasions to cheer on the girls of MCHS. But, that’s typical of Marshall fans.

Few girls’ basketball teams 'in the nation have a following that equals that of the Lady Marshals. Many of their fans show up an hour and a half early for away games so that they can be there to greet the girls when they arrive.

“Sometimes I’ve heard people that don’t think much of Marshall County call it a cult," Turner said. "But I don't feel that way. I think it's just a tradition  there. From the time you're old enough, if you love basketball, you want to be a Lady Marshall."

Though Turner never won a state or LIT title while she was at Marshall County, the Lady Marshals reached the state tournament four times and made it sll the way to the semifinals when she was a sophomore, losing by a single point. And, they fashioned an enviable record in the LIT making it all the eay to the final game on one occasion.

Of course, there were times when things didn' t go exactly as planned.

‘When I was a freshman, I was playing at Madisonville and we were on a fast break and I tried to make a behind-the-back pass,” Turner recalled. “Well, it sailed into the stands. But before the ball hit the stands, I could hear the buzzer going off. Coach Beth was not happy. Well, he of course yanked me out and pointed to the end of the bench for me to sit there. And, he told me I would be lucky to ever see varsity action again.

“My senior year, we were going down on a break, playing Heath at home and I saw an opportunity for a behind-the-back pass. It had been three years since I tried the other one, so I thought I’d try it again. Luckily, I made the pass and my teammate caught the ball and scored. So I didn’t get in trouble for that.”

Following graduation from Marshall County, Turner knew she wanted to continue playing basketball. But she didn’t know where she wanted to go to college. Many young girls, particularly in this area, dream of playing for Pat Summitt at Tennessee. But, that’s not a realistic objective for most of them.