Perhaps it's because the Fannett-Metal point guard is playing in her senior season - her fourth at the helm of the Tigers' offense.
Or maybe it's the added confidence she gained from having helped the Tigers win a PIAA Class A softball title last spring, or playing varsity on the boys soccer team this past fall.
Either way, Dougherty has been a catalyst in the 2-0 start for Fannett-Metal and she is the Public Opinion Female Athlete of the Week.
F-M coach Jen Lauthers said, "She's had a real good start and you can see she's stepped it up a notch. I think you see she's taking it more seriously because it's her last year. And she has that little bit more confidence; actually I think a lot of our girls have that."
Dougherty scored 27 points in a season-opening win over Chestnut Ridge and added 19 in a victory over Southern Huntingdon. Over her four-year career, those represent her career-high total and a tie for the third-highest total.
"I've gotten some steals and we've had some fast breaks, plus I've been driving to the hoop more," Dougherty said. "Todd (Best, the assistant coach) has gotten on me to do more driving."
That has led to her taking 22 free throws in two games.
Dougherty, who said she's looking to get into a nursing program at either Bloomsburg or Shippensburg University next year (and might also play softball), averaged just under 10 points per game a year ago.
Fannett-Metal is off to its
"I thought we'd be a better team than last year," Dougherty said. "Our team is working better together and we don't have as many new players to work in this year. That's one reason why we've had a good start. I think winning states last year (in softball) has made a difference with our confidence, too. I'm pretty excited."
Lauthers said, "We've been running a little more this year and Megan's maturity is helping us there. She has the ability to recognize what's going on around her and the decisions she's making are a little quicker and a little smarter.
"She's making the right decision on when to pass the ball, on where to pass it and even if she should pass. She's not afraid to get in there (going to the basket)."
Dougherty said the Tigers have a pretty clear set of goals for this season.
"We want to be able to host a home playoff game (for the District 5 Class A tournament)," she said, "and then we want to win that game - we know we haven't ever won a (District 5) playoff game."
Ed Gotwals can be reached at 262-4755 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Megan Dougherty, Fannett-Metal
Sport: Girls basketball
Position: Point guard
Parents: Bill and Linda Dougherty
Interests: Megan also plays boys soccer and softball for the Tigers.
Surprising fact: Dougherty holds the school record for career stolen bases and runs scored in softball.
Favorite pro team: Miami Heat
Pro athlete most admired: Dwyane Wade
Most influential person in athletic career: Todd Best, her assistant coach in boys soccer and basketball - "He pushes me really hard," she said.
Statistics: In F-M's season opener, a 67-45 win over Chestnut Ridge, Dougherty scored a career-high 27 points and added 4 steals and 4 assists Dougherty added 19 points and 5 steals in a 58-26 win over Southern Huntingdon She is 14-for-22 at the free throw line this season.