ARCHBALD – T.J. Murray did much of his scoring from close to the basket during a championship basketball season that included a run to the state quarterfinals at Abington Heights High School.
When he ventured away from the basket for the Comets, Murray often took on the role of passer.
The Lackawanna League Boys Basketball All-Star Game March 26 allowed Murray to show some different offensive abilities.
Murray shared Blue team scoring honors and earned team Most Valuable Player honors during a 101-87 loss to the Red March 26 in the seniors-only game at Valley View High School.
“It was great to get out of a system a little bit,” said Murray, who hit three 3-point shots while scoring 13 points. “It’s fun and you get to play with some great players.”
The Red, coached by Lakeland’s Dave Rosencrans and including three Chiefs on the roster, dominated much of the game.
Murray played a big part in the second-half push that allowed the Blue to briefly make the game competitive late.
The Red opened leads of 29 points three times midway through the third quarter.
Abington Heights players were prominent in a 20-point Blue streak that cut the deficit to 82-79 with 4:05 remaining.
Kevin Elwell hit a 3-pointer with 6:22 left and Murray followed with two more 3-pointers for a burst of nine points in 36 seconds that made it 82-74.
After Valley View’s Liam Callejas made it four straight Blue 3-pointers, Jamie Egan banked in a shot to complete the 20-0 run.
Mac Temples of Scranton Prep added another 3-pointer with four minutes left to cut the gap all the way to 84-82, but the Blue never got any closer.
Lakeland’s Kyle Kiehart had eight points and seven rebounds in the win and was joined on the Red by teammates Eric Grabowski and Tyler Brady.
Kiehart joined Dunmore’s John Rinaldi in leading a surge late in the first quarter to put the Red in command.
A 3-pointer by Kiehart put the Red ahead to stay, 17-16, with 2:46 left in the first quarter. He then assisted a basket by Rinaldi, scored on a tip-in and set up Rinaldi again, this time on a 3-pointer.
Kiehart added another 3-pointer and assisted a 3-pointer by Corey Joyce of Holy Cross to complete a streak of 16 straight points that took less than 2 ½ minutes and gave the Red a 30-16 advantage late in the first quarter.
Grabowski had four points and five rebounds in the win while Brady had two points and six rebounds.
Rinaldi and Wallenpaupack’s Jake Brown led the Red with 15 points each. Sawyer Dearborn of Blue Ridge added 14 and was named team MVP.
Joe Ferguson of Scranton Prep coached the Blue team.
Temples and Matt Knowles represented the Cavaliers in the game. Temples had 10 points and a game-high four steals. Knowles had 10 points and seven rebounds.
Elwell and Egan each had five points and four rebounds.
Murray and Scranton’s Andrew Moran, who also had 12 rebounds and five assists, had 13 points each to lead the Blue.