GRIFFITH | Griffith boys basketball coach Gary Hayes had pregame butterflies as real as they’ve ever been.
“After 600 games you’d think this was old hat,” Hayes said with a laugh, “but I’m more nervous than the kids are.”
Freshman Anthony Murphy made it easy for Hayes on opening night with 16 points, including 11 in the second quarter, to lead the Panthers to a 62-33 nonconference win over Whiting.
Griffith outscored the Oilers 26-2 in the second quarter to take the suspense out of the game early. The Panthers scored 22 straight points to close out the second quarter.
Whiting coach Derrick Milenkoff came into the game looking for his Oilers to be much more physical than they were in a 63-47 opening-night loss to Clark.
“We lost four starters and 40-plus points,” Milenkoff said. “We have a lot of inexperience out on the floor. I was looking for a physical game tonight from our boys.”
The Oilers were more physical, but couldn’t keep up with the speed and athleticism of the Panthers.
After a close first quarter, Hayes let his three freshmen loose.
Anthony Murphy nailed 11 points, including a 3-pointer. His twin brother, Tremmell, scored four points and had three assists. Anthony Quintero, who started at point guard, scored five and had a steal.
“The young guys played well,” Hayes said. “We’ll probably be up and down as far as consistency for a while. Having three freshmen seeing a lot of minutes will definitely impact our play.”
Griffith ran the floor on offense, forcing Whiting into a game they weren’t equipped to play.
At a size disadvantage in every game, Milenkoff said that the Oilers will have to excel at the little things.
“Basketball is really played from within,” he said. “We have to have a warrior mentality. We have to have that chip on our shoulder that we will not be pushed around.”
The Oilers were led by 23 points from Filipek and Tom Hildebranski had a pair of 3s and four assists.
Ben Parish and Tremmell Murphy each scored eight for Griffith, and Rodney Lewis had 10 rebounds.