Junior Justin Murray levitates through the lane as he shoots for two during the Bruins’ game against St. Mary’s. The Pilot/Jef Hatch
“The word of the day was battle,” Head Coach Matt Simpson said following the Bruins 71-64 victory over the Crusaders of St. Mary’s. “And they kept battling.”
The they he was referring too was the BHHS boys basketball team as they smacked the back of the Crusaders of St. Mary’s hands with a ruler and laid claim to a berth in the Yreka Tournament championship game.
“They came out with passion and excitement,” Simpson said. “This is a special group of boys and they are going places. It’s not surprising that they did so well.”
The Bruins controlled the game from start to finish, outscoring the Crusaders in every quarter but the third when they both ended up with 13.
In the fourth quarter with the Bruins scoring at will, and no signs of letting up, the Crusaders offered another prayer and tried the Hack-a-Shaq method of basketball.
With five minutes to go in the fourth quarter, everytime a Bruin would touch a ball, the Crusaders would foul.
Clutch free-throw shooting by the Bruins and a failure by the Crusaders to convert baskets on their end of the court led to a final score of 71-64.
The Bruins were able to rely on every player on the floor to score at will, not allowing the Crusaders to pinpoint one player for defensive pressure.
Early in the first quarter the Crusaders’ head coach told his players to make Justin Murray go left because, “He doesn’t have a left hand.”
By the middle of the third quarter he had changed his tune to, “Don’t let him (Murray) shoot 3’s. Don’t let him touch the ball.”
When asked his thought on the subject, Murray smiled.
“It just makes me feel confident in my game,” he said. “Allows me to help my teammates get open and score – and yeah, I do have a left hand.”
Murray will put his left hand to use as he and the rest of the Bruins face the Hornets of Henley in the championship game at 7 p.m., tonight (Dec. 1) at Yreka High School in Yreka, California.
Look for Bruins’ final game coverage in Wednesday’s edition of the Curry Coastal Pilot.