McCray scored 14 first half points and led the Lady Bulldogs back from a double-digit deficit to a 54-45 win against Fredericktown in the first round of the Class 4, District 1 tournament.
"She is a class deal," said Sikeston coach Lee Brooks. "Whitney is probably the most unorthodox player I've ever coached. She doesn't look like the player that can go out there and do it every night but she's done it all year and she has really impressed me."
Fredericktown came out of the gates strong, and took a 10-0 lead on the Lady Bulldogs before McCray began to lead Sikeston back. McCray scored the only five points of the first quarter for Sikeston, who trailed the Lady Blackcats 14-5 after one.
"They came out with a good game plan," Brooks said. "Their coach does a good job and they've got good kids. They know what we do and we know what they do so it's just a chess match. It's just the one that wanted it more."
In the second quarter, the Lady Bulldogs began scratching their way back into the game using pressure half-court defense to force several turnovers they converted into easy layups.
"I told them we've got to take control of the ball game and that's when we got more aggressive on the ball," Brooks said of his talk he had with his girls between quarters. "We were kind of standing around watching them play."
However, Fredericktown still was able to keep Sikeston at a distance leading 23-16 with just over two minutes to play in the first half when McCray took over.
McCray scored nine consecutive points for Sikeston giving the Lady Bulldogs a 25-23 lead going into the half.
"We look to her to do that," Brooks said. "When we need those tough baskets I don't know how she does it. I am just amazed at how she works."
Sikeston came out in the second half and dominated the Lady Blackcats putting the game away after a 16-9 third quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs did have some adversity in the second half as sophomore point guard Paige Silverthorn injured her knee midway through the fourth quarter.
"I don't think it is anything sustaining," Brooks said. "The thing is we've got kids that can step up and they are just sophomores. They don't even know their own potential yet."
McCray finished the night with 18 points while Allison Blurton ended with 13. Freshman Amy Hendrix led Fredericktown with 16 points.
With the win, Sikeston will move on to face top-seeded Notre Dame in the semifinals at 7:45 p.m. Thursday. Notre Dame downed Sikeston 64-50 on Jan. 15.
"Coach Grim is always going to have his kids ready to play," Brooks said of the match up. "They beat us earlier in the year but we missed 18 layups. Had we hit half of them we win by one. That's just youth but I am looking forward to playing them again."