Photo by Ray Rodriguez
THE DALLES basketball player Dakota Murr puts up a 3-point shot in a non-league boys’ basketball game played in The Dalles. Monday in Woodburn, Murr eclipsed the 50-point mark to lead the Hawks to a 90-86 double-overtime win.
As of Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Only a select few The Dalles basketball players have scored 40 or more points in a varsity game.
Jon Colasuonno is one. Quinn Macnab is another.
Jeremy Hanson is a third member of that illustrious group.
Add Riverhawk guard Dakota Murr to that elite class.
Murr sank a career-high 50 points, 38 coming in the second half and The Dalles Riverhawks picked up their first win of the season in a 90-86 double-overtime road victory over Woodburn Monday night.
“I give a lot of credit to my coaches (Greg) Cummings and (Nathan) Morris, as they countinued to push me to bigger and better things,” Murr said. “Also my teammates had a huge part getting me hyped.”
Murr hit seven 2-pointers, five 3-pointers and converted 21 of 22 free throws.
First-year head coach Nathan Morris is still blown away by Murr’s offensive explosion.
“I turned to coach Cummings and I told him the best coaching decision I made tonight was not getting in Dakota’s way,” Morris said. “We moved Dakota to point guard and he ran the show and took control of this offense. He was on a roll and frankly, they couldn’t stop him. He got off shots whenever he wanted to. All they could do was foul him and he was able to knock down his free throws. It was very impressive to watch.”
While Murr picked up the headlines for his offense, the Riverhawk defense and mental toughness showed Monday, as they were down by a 40-20 score with three minutes reamining in the first half.
TD finished the second quarter on a 14-4 run to go down 44-34 at the break.
The Hawks trailed by 11 points entering the fourth quarter, but outscored the Bulldogs 23-12, 15 of those points coming from Murr, as a defensive stand on Woodburn’s final possession sent the game into overtime.
Murr would then add 15 more points in the two extra sessions to give the Hawks a four-point win.
“It felt really great to get the win because without the ‘W’ I think that we would of got down,” Murr said. “But, now with such a huge win, I think we have a lot of momentum rolling.”
Andy Ellingson scored 35 points, as Woodburn hit 36 field goals, eight 3-pointers and 4 for 5 from the line.
“We came up big. We needed all of those points in order to make a run at it,” Morris said. “Defense is what won us this basketball game. Denzel Arellano played a lot of minutes in the fourth quarter and overtimes and played great defense. That was huge. Colton Walker also did all of the dirty work. It was a complete team effort.”
TD (1-3 overall) hit on 23 field goals, nine 3-pointers, and 34-40 from the line, as Murr was followed up by John Miller’s 22 points.
Colin Noonan and Eric Flores added seven points apiece, and Walker drained a 3-pointer late in the third quarter to help TD’s cause.
Still acclimating to Morris’ fast-paced style, the Riverhawks had previously lost their first three games by an average of 24 points, including a 93-58 setback last Friday at home against Sandy.
Now that they have secured a first win, Morris said it will go a long way towards establishing momentum.
“To get that first one out of the way is huge, especially in a game like this where we were down big early,” Morris said. “The kids could have just decided to give up. They had lost their first three games by 20 points or more and for those guys to come out and come out with an attitude that they were not going to let that happen again, is huge. They just stepped it up defensively, we had some shots fall for us and it was a beautiful thing.”
The schedule does not give TD much of a break, with No. 1-ranked and undefeated 5A Ridgeview (6-0) scheduled to hit Kurtz Gym at 7 p.m. Wednesday.