Losing three rotation players in three weeks as the playoffs approach could be a problem for most teams, but not for the Archbishop Murphy boys basketball team.
The Wildcats 73-64 win over Cedarcrest on Feb. 12 clinched a berth in the 2A District 1 playoffs and kept their hopes alive of securing the No.1 seed among 2A teams in the Cascade Conference.
“They won a really big game tonight,” Archbishop Murphy coach Greg Turcott said. “I’m really proud of the them.”
The loss of the three players — one starter and two reserves — hasn’t stopped the Wildcats from a late-season surge that has earned them a playoff berth.
“We have had guys step up, our team is really coming together,” Turcott said.
The Wildcats had four players in double figures scoring. Zach Smith led the team with 17 points, Zach Gordon had 16, Jared McCann had 15 and Casey Wagner had 14. Wagner also shot 5-for-7 from the floor, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out three assists and had three steals.
Archbishop Murphy was able to triumph despite the best efforts of freshman Zach Taylor. Taylor scored 24 points, 16 in the fourth quarter, and shot 8-for-10 from the free-throw line in the game.