MURPHYSBORO — Jeremy House scored a game-high 22 points to lead Murphysboro to a 49-43 win over Harrisburg Saturday in SIRR Ohio Division boys basketball.
It was ugly game where both teams struggled mightily on offense at times. The teams combined to make just 50 percent of the 42 free throw attempts in the contest.
“Once again, we have our four to six-minute stretches where we can’t score baskets,” said Murphysboro coach Daryl Murphy. “We missed a lot of three throws. House (4-for-13) is 78 percent on the year. The other night we hit 19 out of 21. If you can figure this game out, call me and let me know about it.”
Jaron Gaston, Murphysboro’s second leading scorer this season, was held without a point until two minutes into the fourth quarter. But Gaston hit some huge shots down the stretch, including a pair of 3-pointers, which helped Murphysboro build a 42-35 lead.
“He came up huge in the fourth quarter,” Murphy said of Gaston. “He drops a couple of them in pressure situations. It was good to see him end on a note like that on Senior Night.”
Harrisburg had two starters, Jordan Bartok and Isaiah Saulsberry, pick up their third fouls with about three minutes left in the second quarter. It was a one-point game at the time. But the Bulldogs hung in there despite the foul trouble.
The Bulldogs were also playing without their starting point guard, Blake Drue, who is battling an injury.
“It’s hard for us to play well when I’ve got two starters on the bench and another one out,” said Harrisburg coach Randy Smithpeters. “The fouls get to be eight to two, and we’re running our offense and attacking. Then they called eight consecutive fouls on us. There are starters of mine who don’t even touch anybody, and the fouls go from eight to two to 10 to eight.”
Saulsberry converted a three-point play in the third quarter to pull Harrisburg within 26-24. But the Bulldogs were never able to make a big enough run to take the lead.
Meanwhile, DeMari Greenwood racked up eight points in the third quarter, and the Red Devils held a four-point advantage after three quarters of play.
Dalton Lambert scored 14 points to lead Harrisburg, and Saulsberry added 11. Greenwood tallied 12 for Murphysboro.
Murphysboro improved to 20-6 and 7-2. Harrisburg fell to 20-7 and 5-4. Benton claimed the conference championship with a victory over Massac County on Saturday night.