Looking Back: Miss Magic, Amber Guffey

MurraySports.net

 

As a senior Guffey averaged 19.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 8.6 assists and earned first team all-state honors from the Louisville Courier Journal, the Lexington Herald Leader, and the Associated Press. She made the Sweet Sixteen and All-A Classic all-tournament teams and was named to the Kentucky-Indiana All-Star team.

As a junior she earned second team all-state honors and was the MVP of the All-A Classic. Guffey was a four time all-region selection and a five time all district honoree. While she was at Clinton County the Bulldogs compiled a 172-34 record, won two All-A state championships and played in the final game of the Sweet Sixteen in 2005.

Her AAU team, the Kentucky Sharpshooters won the 17 and under state championship in 2004 and a bronze medal at nationals while Guffey was named to the 17 and under All-American team.

She and her twin sister Paige hold the state record for most career points by two teammates.

Following her senior year Guffey had offers from Morehead, Murray and Coastal Carolina.

“At first I picked Morehead but they fired their coach,” she recalled. “Then I visited Murray and I decided it was better in every way – the facilities, the town, the school, the team, everything.”

Her first year at MSU would prove to be a trying experience as the Racers lost more games in one year than she had lost in three years at Clinton County.

"Losing was really hard to deal with," she recalled. "I was used to winning and then I came here and we lost a lot of games that first year. And we got killed in some of those games. I'm always hard on myself when we lose so I didn't cope with it very well."

Still, she led the Ohio Valley Conference and was 17th in the nation in free throw percentage while averaging 8.4 points and 2.75 assists despite playing just 17 minutes per game.

And there was reason to hope the next year would be better.

"I think we expected to be good my sophomore year because we had almost everybody back," Guffey said. "We  had added Joi Scott in the middle of the previous season  and we knew how good she was."

But the most die hard fan had to be surprised by how good they were as they won their first six OVC games. And many of their victories were blowouts. They beat Morehead by 22, Jacksonville State by 41, Eastern Illinois by 26 and Tennessee State by 28.

"It's always surprising when you win by 20 or 30 especially against other teams in your own conference," Guffey said. "But we knew we had the ability to do that. And I think getting off to such a good start gave us added confidence."

The Racers were first or second in the conference standings all season. Unfortunately Scott injured her knee in the next to last game of the regular season.

"It was Joi's senior year so we felt bad for her," Guffey recalled. "And then she had been our best player all year so we knew we were all going to have to step up and score to fill the void that she left.

"We lost our last regular season game to UT-Martin by two and that cost us a share of the conference championship. But that kind of motivated us. We had to play them again in the second round of the OVC tournament but we knew we could beat them and we did."

Guffey averaged 13 points as a sophomore but after Scott was hurt she increased her scoring, averaging nearly 20 in the OVC tournament.

"People have the impression that she was pass-first when she came here," head coach Rob Cross said. "But she scored 2,800 points in her high school career. And after Joi Scott went down she was probably the star of the OVC tournament." 

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