Murphy powers MHS past Edgewood

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By: 
Rob Reischel
Middleton junior point guard Storm Murphy erupted for 31 points in a win over Madison Edgewood last Saturday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

It came in waves that seemed impossible throughout a tumultuous first half.

A knifing drive and a basket between two defenders. A crossover dribble, a lightning quick first step and a reverse layup.

A 23-footer from the right wing. Then a cold-blooded, straight on dagger from 26-feet out.

The overflow crowd that came to Madison Edgewood Saturday was treated to one of the finest boys basketball games of the year between Middleton and the Crusaders. Little did they know, they were also coming for the Storm Murphy Show.

Murphy, the Cardinals’ dynamic junior point guard, erupted for 29 of his 31 points in the second half. And Murphy’s explosion helped Middleton rally from a 16-point deficit and post an 80-73 win.

Amazingly, Murphy had 18 of his points in the final six minutes as Middleton held off the gritty Crusaders.

“There aren’t many guys in the state who can do what Storm just did,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said afterwards. “I’m sure you can count them on one hand.”

The impressive non-conference win lifted Middleton — the second ranked team in Division 1 by wissports.net — to a perfect 10-0 record. Edgewood, ranked third in Division 3, fell to 8-2.

Cardinals junior forward Tyree Eady added 16 points, while junior guard C.J. Fermanich had 14 points and nine rebounds.

“It was a great win for us,” Eady said. “I thought we really showed our resiliency.”

No one more than Murphy.

Murphy struggled through a brutal first half, missing his first eight shots and shooting just 1-of-10 from the floor. Middleton shot just 11-of-36 as a team (30.5%), trailed 32-16 at one point and was in a 38-29 hole at the break.

“I’ve never played in this gym and I just wasn’t used to it,” Murphy said. “So that was like an adjustment I had to make.

“My shot was off. I tried to take more time on my shot, but it didn’t really help.”

Murphy wasn’t alone his struggles.

Edgewood hit the Cardinals with a 10-0 run early in the first half and raced to a 20-8 lead. Middleton was on the brink of being blown out when it fell behind by 16, but the Cardinals closed the half strong.

Middleton got a three-point play from Eady and three-point baskets from Brett Wipfli and Travis Raffel to pull within nine at halftime. While that marked the Cardinals’ largest halftime deficit of the season, Bavery was encouraged by the strong finish.

“I really thought getting it under 10 was big,” Bavery said. “We didn’t do a whole lot right in that first half. But we got (the deficit) back to a manageable number.”

From there, it didn’t take long for the Cardinals to catch the Crusaders.

Middleton opened the second half with a 7-0 run — including five from Eady and a dribble drive basket from Murphy — in just one minute to close within 38-36.

From there, it was game on.

A Brogan Brunker lay-up at the 14:25 mark gave Middleton its first lead of the game at 43-42. But Edgewood refused to go away, and over the next eight minutes there were five lead changes.

Middleton used a 9-2 spurt to take a 57-52 lead. But Edgewood got back-to-back three-pointers from Mandela Deang (11 points) to take its final lead of the game at 58-57.

“I think we were a little tired from playing West (Friday) and didn’t have our best energy,” Eady said. “But we just had to stick to what we do.”

Down the stretch, that meant riding the hot hand of Murphy.

Murphy drilled two deep three-pointers in a 17-second window to give the Cardinals a 63-58 lead with 5:45 left.

Murphy followed with a pair of baskets as Middleton pushed its lead to 72-65 with 1:37 remaining. And down the stretch, when Edgewood’s only hope was to foul, Murphy knocked down 8-of-10 from the line.

For Murphy, the two halves were as different as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

“When we went into the lockerroom, I was really angry at myself,” Murphy said. “I knew my mistakes, but I was also really confident of what I could do second half. So I settled down, I had confidence in myself and I was drilling the shots.”

That’s for sure.

Murphy made his first five shots of the second half and shot 9-of-11 from the floor. He also made 3-of-4 three pointers after intermission and was rock solid from the foul line.

“We trust him to score the ball,” Eady said of Murphy.

Added Bavery: “(Murphy’s) ability to step back, that’s a pretty special skill. And then his ability to change speeds and accelerate is rare. He’s got that gift.”

That gift helped Middleton stay perfect last weekend. And it helped Murphy and the Cardinals exit Madison Edgewood with wide smiles.

“This was a really big opportunity for us,” Murphy said. “We were just really hyped to play a really good team. It was just a good opportunity for us to show what we can do.”

No one showed more than Murphy, which is a big reason why the Cardinals are still unbeaten.

• Middleton 81, Madison West 73 — Murphy scored 26 points and had six assists, while Eady had 23 points, five rebounds and four steals as the Cardinals edged the visiting Regents last Friday.

Fermanich added eight points and six rebounds, while Cody Markel had four steals and three assists. Middleton shot 46% from the field and forced 24 turnovers.

“There was a reason West had just beaten Sun Prairie by 16 points,” Bavery said. “It was good to be in a one-possession game in the final few minutes and be able to do all the necessary things to bump it to more than a possession and keep it there.

“They will be an extremely tough out for a lot of teams (in the postseason), and of course, it will be a big challenge at their place in the second round.”

 

Jan. 9

Middleton ……………… 29 51 — 80

Madison Edgewood …… 38 35 — 73

MIDDLETON — Brunker 3 2-2 8, Eady 7 1-1 16, Fermanich 5 1-2 14, Markel 1 0-0 3, Murphy 10 8-10 31, Raffel 1 0-0 3, Smith 1 0-0 2, Wipfli 1 0-0 3. Totals 29 12-17 80.

MADISON EDGEWOOD — Arians 8 4-4 22, Cronin 1 0-0 2, Deang 3 2-2 11, Leske 2-2 2, Link 3 0-0 6, Mclvor 2 0-0 6, McNeil 1 2-4 4, Noyce 3 4-5 10, Thelen 2 0-0 4, Witz 3 0-0 6. Totals 26 14-18 73.

3-point goals — Mi 10 (Eady 1, Fermanich 3, Markel 1, Murphy 3, Raffel 1, Wipfli 1), ME 7 (Arians 2, Deang 3, Mclvor 2). Total fouls — Mi 17, ME 17.

 

Jan. 8

Middleton 81, Madison West 73

Madison West .................. 39 34 — 73

Middleton ......................... 41 40 — 81

MADISON WEST — Davis 1 1-3 3, Enderle 1 0-0 2, Hawkins 6 4-6 16, Hess 1 1-2 3, McFadden 3 4-5 11, Meyer 5 9-9 20, Parker 5 0-0 11, Wright 3 1-3 7. Totals 25 20-28 73.

MIDDLETON — Eady 9 5-6 23, Fermanich 3 2-2 8, Murphy 8 8-10 26, Raffel 1 0-0 2, Ripp 1 0-0 3, Smith 1 1-2 3, Thomas 1 0-0 3, Ashford 4 2-2 13. Totals 28 18-26 81.

3-point goals — MID 7 (Murphy 2, Ripp 1, Thomas 1, Ashford 3), MW 3 (McFadden 1, Meyer 1, Parker 1). Total fouls—MID 20, MW 27.

 

 

 

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