It took an undefeated team with a hot hand to end the heralded high school career of Glendora High School scoring sensation Tracy Murray Wednesday night in UC Irvine’s Bren Center.
San Bernardino won its 30th consecutive game by making 28 of 45 shots and withstood Murray’s 41-point performance to claim the Southern Section’s 4-AA division title with a 72-69 victory over Glendora before 5,650.
Murray, the country’s leading prep scorer with a 45-point average, made 10 of 27 shots but struggled to make only six of 15 from three-point range for Glendora (28-2). Murray scored 19 of his points in the last quarter, including three three-point shots in the final minutes to keep the score close.
But San Bernardino (30-0) won its first sectional basketball title in the school’s 105-year history, gaining a championship that it came so close to claiming twice in three previous seasons. San Bernardino reached the section semifinals in 1986 and 1988.
“I didn’t feel comfortable until there was six seconds on the clock,” said Scott Kay, San Bernardino coach. “This is a great group of kids who are not afraid to work hard and play defense.”
San Bernardino made Murray work for his shots, limiting the 6-foot-7 senior to only seven shots in the second and third quarters when it took control of the game. Forward Byron Russell scored 14 of his 26 points in the second quarter to give San Bernardino a 34-27 halftime lead.
Mike LeDuc, Glendora coach, credited an unaggressive first half for his team’s downfall and said Glendora needed to play near perfect to beat the division’s top-ranked team.
“We didn’t give Tracy enough help,” LeDuc said. “They’re a tough defensive team with good athletes and it proved to be too much for Tracy. The first half really hurt us.”
Among the capacity crowd were coaches Rollie Massimino of Villanova and Jerry Tarkanian of Nevada Las Vegas. Murray finished his prep career as the state’s career scoring leader (2,895 points) and single-season scoring leader (1,347 points).
In the 4-A final:
Dominguez 78, Artesia 49--A smothering zone defense and 26 Artesia turnovers led to a surprisingly easy Dominguez victory.
Dominguez’ 2-3 zone dropped as many as four players on Artesia’s 6-8 center Ed O’Bannon, considered one of the country’s top juniors. O’Bannon, who came into the game averaging 28 points a game, had just five in the first half and finished with 21.
Dijon Bernard scored 13 points and Eric Edison added 12 to lead Dominguez to a 38-22 halftime lead, outscoring Artesia, 8-0, in the last 1:20 with O’Bannon was on the bench with foul trouble.
Edison led Dominguez with 22 points, Derrick Thomas had 18 and Bernard added 17.