MURPHYSBORO — The Murphysboro Red Devils capped off a great week of basketball with a 65-51 win over Harrisburg on Saturday in the championship game of the Bozarth Memorial/Trico Tournament.
The Red Devils (5-0) won this contest in the second quarter. Murphysboro held Harrisburg (4-1) without a point for more than five minutes of game time after the Bulldogs took a brief 17-16 lead at the 6:01 mark.
“I am more than pleased tonight, and this was the best we’ve played so far,” said Murphysboro coach Daryl Murphy. “Harrisburg had really looked like they were firing on all cylinders in the first four games. They’re a good team. I loved our kids’ intensity tonight. They made a few runs on us, but our kids never blinked an eye.”
While the Bulldogs were struggling to score in the second period, the Red Devils made a 13-0 run. Jaron Gaston, who had a big night, started and finished the streak.
“I really got some good play from my bench tonight, and I hadn’t had that so far,” Murphy said. “We’ve got a long way to go, but I’m pretty happy with our kids tonight.”
Jacob Morgan scored five straight points during the run as well, which gave Murphysboro a 29-17 advantage late in the first half.
Isaiah Saulsberry knocked down a triple for Harrisburg, which cut the deficit back to single digits. But Corbin Guthman sank a 3-pointer with one second on the clock before halftime.
Murphysboro held a 34-21 lead at the intermission.
Harrisburg’s Blake Drue, the starting point guard, picked up his fourth foul at the 2:56 mark of the third quarter. Murphysboro’s Jeremy House notched his third foul just 90 seconds into the third period.
Saulsberry banked in a jump shot to pull Harrisburg within 42-32 late in the third quarter, and Morgan answered for Murphysboro with a stick-back at the buzzer.
Gaston finished with 27 points for Murphysboro, and House added 21. Saulsberry paced the Bulldogs with 18 points.
House was named MVP of the tournament. Gaston and DeMari Greenwood earned spots on the all-tournament team as well. Saulsberry and Drue were named to the all-tournament team for Harrisburg.