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Cougars fall to Oracles

February 4, 2013
Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School

Cole Murray scored 19 of his game-high 22 points in the first half, but it took a Blake Walters 3-pointer in the fourth quarter to help Delphi shut down a Carroll rally and sprint to a 57-45 victory Friday night.

Delphi led its county rival by as many as 17 points in the first half behind five 3-pointers from Murray. The Oracles (11-4) pressed Carroll guards into numerous turnovers and went into the halftime locker room with a 34-19 lead.

“There’s always a lot of emotion out there when you play Carroll,” Murray said. “We had a great crowd and a great environment. We knew they were going to make a run in the second half, but we knew that we had to stay calm and execute on offense and defense.”

Carroll (8-8) started using its size advantage to get the ball inside. The Cougars finished the third quarter with an 8-0 run, the final bucket coming from a long beat-the-buzzer 3-pointer by Seth Eldridge that trimmed the Oracles’ lead to 41-33.

The Cougars continued to make a move in the fourth quarter, trimming the deficit to 44-40 on Jarin Bush’s short jumper in the lane with 5:35 remaining. That’s when Walters launched an open 3-pointer in the corner away from the Delphi bench to put the Oracles up by seven.

The dagger ignited a 9-0 Delphi run to put the game out of reach.

“They were on a big run and we needed the basket,” Walters said. “I think that helped change the game. We knew it was going to be a physical game and that you could throw the records out the door. We had to keep our composure. I think we did that tonight, and it led us to a victory.”

Carroll coach Matt Weaver said it was tough for his team to regain the momentum after Walters’ shot. He said, though, the second half gave him and a lot of encouragement for sectionals and maybe even a second meeting against Delphi.

“Delphi did a great job of pressuring us,” Weaver said. “They did the best job of doing that against us all season, so you have to give them credit. But our kids really listened to what we told them at halftime about handling their pressure, and that allowed us to come back, so give credit to our kids, too.


Walters is just a great shooter, and he made that shot against our 1-3-1. They have a lot of shooters, and he’s very capable of making that shot.”

It looked like Delphi would run away and hide in the first half as Murray found small open spaces to knock down his 3-point shots. Ricky Windell added 13 points for the Oracles.

“Cole can load it in a hurry, but I thought he really played within himself tonight,” Delphi coach Michael Lewis said. “He didn’t rush shots. We moved the ball around and he was very unselfish, and he played a great defensive game for us, too.”

Murray nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to end the first quarter, giving the Oracles a 20-12 lead. Another Murray 3-pointer gave Delphi its largest edge of the game, 30-13, with 4:17 left in the second quarter.

“I didn’t have a good shooting game last week, so I knew I had to get that back,” Murray said. “My teammates did a great job of finding and screening for me and I was able to knock them down this week. Hopefully I can do the same thing tomorrow, but tonight it just felt good.”

Lewis said, though, Delphi’s defense was the difference-maker. In the fourth quarter, the Oracles were able to force five Carroll turnovers, which helped cool the Cougars’ final rally.

“Our key was the press,” Lewis said. “We were really able to speed them up, especially in the first half, where they couldn’t get into the halfcourt where they could take advantage of their size advantage over us. These kids know each other so well and the kids competed really hard. Any time you can get a win over Carroll, it’s a good win.”

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