Spartans feel prepared for state tournament runFeb 22, 2022 09:42PM ● By Lenna Proctor
Chudi Anosike is one of the top scorers in the state. (Photo courtesy of Caden Davies)
By Lenna Proctor | [email protected]
The Murray men's varsity basketball team is heading into the state tournament in a strong position.
The Spartans finished region 10-2 with losses to No. 1 ranked Olympus High School. They were second in Region 6 and top 10 in 5A.
Head coach Jason Workman has filled his team with talented players.
“This year's team has been a fun team to coach,” he said. “They immediately came together and began to lead each other to get better everyday. I like our chemistry and of course it is an extremely talented team. We will enjoy this ride as far as we can take it.”
Workman’s comment about talent does not come lightly. Senior six-foot-eight forward Bowen Davies ranks second in the state for blocks and averages 9.5 rebounds per game. Bowen is on track to become one of the all time state leaders in blocked shots.
Combine Bowen’s skills in the post with those of junior Chudi Anosike, and it is no surprise the Spartans are sitting in prime position wrapping up region play. Anosike is averaging 23.8 points per game and currently leads the state in scoring. Junior point guard Jaxson Workman averages 6.2 assists.
With only two seniors, Davies and Drake AuClaire are surrounded by a young, tight knit, core group. The varsity rotation is typically nine players with a mix of seniors, juniors and sophomores. Junior Davonte Hooks fires up the team when he drains shots from the three-point line, or throws up an alley-oop for Dai’shaun Buie to slam dunk. The skill of the Murray team continues with the ball handling and shooting skills of junior Tayshaun Tremel and sophomores Deacon Poole and Quinton Christman, marking a bright future for the Spartans.
Murray holds two state championships in boy’s basketball, the first from 1931 and the most recent in 1996. Davies hopes to add a third with this year's team.
“I am ready to play as hard as I need for my team to advance in the playoffs since it’s my senior year,” he said. “I know one loss could send me home I’m ready to play as hard as possible. We have a special talented group this year and we want to come home with another championship for Murray.”
Poole agreed, noting this year’s team is different. “This season has been fun, we are a winning organization this year and I think we will go far in state.”
Jaxson Workman said he was excited for the state tournament. “We have a shot to go far. We are really good on both sides of the ball. Great size and ability on defense and great skills on offense. Everyone likes to see each other succeed and cheers for one another.”
The Spartans will next suit up in the first round of the 5A state playoffs Wednesday, Feb. 23 at home.