Murray's magic off bench ignites Prospect
A player who can come off the bench to give the starters a break and make an impact is invaluable.
Meet Prospect 6-foot-1 junior Sam Murray.
He was a key factor in the Knights' 60-43 nonconference boys basketball game over Stevenson at the Jean Walker Field house on Saturday night.
Murray came off the bench to tie his career-high with 10 points as the Knights (7-2) won their seventh straight game, while the Patriots dropped to 6-4 after a 4-0 start.
Stevenson led 13-10 after the first quarter before the Knights turned on the jets.
Prospect hit on 8-of-10 field goal attempts and doubled up Stevenson with a 22-11 quarter.
Murray twice put the Knights ahead at 17-16 and 22-21 with 3-point baskets. His second sparked a 13-3 run to finish out the half and give Prospect a 32-24 lead.
"I watch for tendencies from the other team and when coach calls me to go in, I'm ready," Murray said. "I like to think that I bring energy off the bench. Tonight my teammates found me in good position to take my shots. I try my best to fit into the flow of the game."
Prospect led 40-31 after three quarters and then began to pull away in the fourth.
"Both Prospect and us had tough road games last night," said Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose. "When you play back-to-back nights, the team that plays more physical is going to win. Tonight Prospect was more physical."
"The last two games we have played very strong second halves," said Prospect coach John Camardella. "If we have the lead late, we're able to space the floor and that gives us an advantage with our strength."
Prospect scored 8 points from 14 turnovers while the Patriots failed to score off the Knights' 7 miscues.
"We didn't shoot very well (16-of-41) tonight," Ambrose said. "We're still a young team but we're gaining experience. We just wore down in the fourth quarter."
Prospect hit 6 of 7 fourth-quarter field goal attempts and finished at 57 percent (22-of-38) shooting from the field.
The Knights' David Swedura finished with a game-high 16 points. Tim Lussenhop added 13 and Jon Kreidler had 11. Jalen McLachlan scored 6 points with 7 rebounds and 4 steals.
"Early in the year we had to figure out who we were as a team," Swedura said. "After our second loss, we just practiced harder. Right now, I think our pressure defense has been the best part of our game."
Jackson Qualley paced Stevenson with 12 points, and Matt Ambrose had 11.
"We have kept an eye on Murray since he was in the feeder program," Camardella said. "He earned the role that he currently earned with his work ethic during the summer. He's always ready to play and when he's come in -- he's made some big shots for us. He complements the other guards on the floor."