MURPHYSBORO — The Murphysboro boys basketball team used a seven-point run to start the overtime session and outlasted Herrin, 54-48, Friday in SIRR Ohio Division action.
DeMari Greenwood only had four points through the end of regulation, but he was clutch for the Red Devils in overtime. Greenwood scored the first two baskets and had a tremendous offensive rebound between the buckets.
“It was huge,” said Murphysboro coach Daryl Murphy. “DeMari Greenwood stepped up in overtime. Other guys found ways to help us win, and that’s what mattered.”
Murphysboro looked it had this game wrapped up and held a seven-point lead with just over a minute to play. The Tigers weren’t done just yet.
Drew Ringel sank a pair of free throws, Hayden Holloway made a layup, and Bronson Nesler buried a 3-pointer from the corner to send it to overtime.
But the Red Devils held Herrin without a point for the first three minutes and 35 seconds of the extra session. That was the ball game.
Murphysboro certainly didn’t play all that well, but still managed to come out on top in the end.
“Mental focus wasn’t very sharp tonight,” Murphy said. “We were losing our guys on defense. We were taking miscalculated shots. We’ve got seven or eight-point leads, and we’re shooting threes? Not very good there. Not sharp, but I thought we pushed our way through the game. It’s better to get a win than a loss.”
Herrin is just 8-14 overall and 1-4 in the SIRR Ohio. But the Tigers are a much better team now than they were in the first half of the season, as evidenced by an impressive win over Mount Vernon recently.
The Tigers were just 11-for-19 from the charity stripe in this game, and it cost them in the first half. Holloway made a pair of buckets to give Herrin a three-point edge at halftime.
However, Murphysboro opened the third quarter on a 10-0 run and never trailed again.
Jeremy House paced the Red Devils (18-5, 5-2) with 18 points, and Jaron Gaston tallied 16. Brandon Anthony led Herrin with 16 points, and Holloway tallied 11.
“Herrin played us to the wire over there,” Murphy said. “They do a very good job of what they do. Coach (Sayler Shurtz) has got them playing good. And they’ve got good players. They’re knocking down shots and beating people off the dribble. I like what they’re doing.”