Murray Richards leads West Side to a crown as coach
By Tommy Williams Post-Tribune correspondent December 28, 2012 11:44PM
Updated: January 30, 2013 6:14AM
GARY — When he played for the West Side basketball team back in the early 1970s, Cougars coach Murray Richards had a hand in two Gary Holiday Tournament championships in two attempts.
Counting his playing days and his first year as head coach of the Cougars, Richards record in the annual event is still spotless.
“It feels good win this. I haven’t even worked with these kids during the summer, I’ve only worked with them for two weeks,” Richards said. “But for what they’re doing and what they’ve accomplished, I really appreciate them for it.”
What the Cougars accomplished Friday night was a 69-58 win to clinch the boys championship behind Arnold Wilson’s 22 points with 17 of them coming in the second half. The win gives the Cougars a sweep in the tournament finals with the girls team beating Marshall earlier.
What turned the game around was the second quarter after Wallace (6-5) had an 18-12 lead after one. Ironically, Wilson didn’t score a point in that quarter, but the Cougars outscored Wallace 21-9 behind eight second quarter points by Denzell Casson and six more by Tyrell Bullock.
Besides being outplayed in the second quarter, Wallace’s undoing was not having more scoring help for forward Charles Cooper, who had a game high 25 points and scored seven of the Wallace nine second-quarter points. Other than Cooper, no other Hornet was a factor scoring wise.
As for Richards, he’s said he hopes it won’t be the last time the Cougars will have to make a little more room for a trophy this season.
“This is big but it’s only a stepping stone,” said Richards. “Our goal when we walk on the floor is not to win holiday tournaments but to win state.”
Bullock had 11 for the Cougars who have now won four straightwhile Casson added 10. Wallace also got a 10-point night from Keontae Bridges.