MURRAY – The Mustang boys basketball team is going to play aggressive defense this season.
Tuesday against Seymour, Murray showed just how effective its defense can be, limiting a then 3-0 Seymour squad to just 23 points through three quarters of play, winning 62-42.
The Mustangs were everywhere on defense as they forced turnover after turnover in the first quarter in which they allowed just six points.
A 1-2-2 zone press kept Seymour from establishing any tendencies in the front court and one of the few times the Warriors did break through, Devin Slaughter chased down a block off the glass for the Mustangs.
“First half was good and it has been all year. Really, we have five quick guards out there on the floor that play D and get after it. I’m really pleased with that,” said head coach Darin Wookey.
Offensively, the Mustangs moved the ball effectively inside and out, opening up shots from both the perimeter and in the post.
Reece Held led the way with 13 points as well as some nifty passing through the lane. Held got the Mustangs rolling with a corner 3-pointer right off the bat in the first quarter to go up 5-0.
The junior also established himself in transition multiple times for buckets or assists after poking away a ball from a Warrior player, leading the squad in assists with five.
“We got a veteran group. We got a group that’s played together,” said Wookey. “Offensively, we move the ball really well, we find open guys.”
As a team Murray had 20 steals in which Held had six, Slaughter had five and Josh Webb had four.
Jace Rodecker put up 12 points on six buckets, a number of which came on second chance looks after picking up offensive rebounds, including a bucket to beat the end of the first quarter buzzer.
“Jace Rodecker has really come a long way this year and I think he has been that defensive effort,” said Wookey.
Jeran Cosner and Jimmy Graham scored eight and seven points, respectively in the win.
Overall, Wookey was satisfied with the performance, but wished his team would have kept their foot on the pedal and not allowed the fourth quarter to be contested.
“One, understanding how to finish a game. Once I got them and called a timeout and put five guards on the floor and move the ball it’s game over then,” said Wookey. “It’s like I told them afterward they’ve got to come out and work defensively. ... Hopefully we will be ready Friday.”
UP NEXT – Murray (3-0, 2-0) will head to Orient-Macksburg (1-3, 1-2) Friday to take on the Bulldogs.
Murray 62, Seymour 42
Sey (42) — 6 11 6 19
Murr (62) — 15 20 16 11
SEYMOUR (FG FT PTS) — Totals — 13 13-21 42. Prestyn Lawson 6 0-0 13, Dugun Glenn 3 0-1 8, Noah Wells 1 6-7 8, Jaden Enright 1 3-6 5, Sloan Sulser 1 2-3 4, Angle Parham 0 2-2 2, Mason Sulser 1 0-0 2, . 3-point goals — 3 (Glenn 2, Lawson 1). Team fouls — 12. Fouled out — Wells.
MURRAY (FG FT PTS) — Totals — 24 4-6 62. Reece Held 6 0-0 15, Jace Rodecker 6 0-0 12, Jeran Cosner 4 0-0 8, Jimmy Graham 3 0-0 7, Devin slaughter 1 3-4 6, Josh Webb 2 0-0 6, Kegan Johnson 2 0-0 5, Rilee Werner 1 1-2 3, Aden Cosner 1 0-0 2. 3-point goals — 6 (Webb 2, Slaughter 1, Held 1, Johnson 1, Graham 1). Team fouls — 18. Fouled out — None.