Boys basketball: Central High star shows artisanlike skills
In basketball parlance, they call it “finishing” — the ability not only to drive to the basket, but complete the play with a score once you get there.
No one in the Central Section has mastered the art like Central High’s Murshid Randle. And, Thursday night, it was the Grizzlies’ 6-foot-2 junior who keyed the finish to an improbable 60-57 nonleague win at Edison.
“We call him the silent assassin because he seems unassuming out there,” Central first-year coach Tim Amundsen said after Randle scored 28 points, including 14 of 16 free throws. “Every game we joke about how many points he had and, tonight, I guessed he had about 12 to 14.”
There’s little guesswork about the long-range seeding value in Central’s win for the Division I playoffs. And it established momentum for a rematch with No. 1 Bullard at 7 p.m. Saturday at Fresno City College. The Knights beat No. 2 Central 70-54 for the Holiday Invitational Tournament title two weeks ago.
Regardless of the Grizzlies’ 10-2 record coming in Thursday, the win came against long odds, considering:
- Thin at only one position — point guard — they became considerably thinner on this night with starter L.J. Moore in Southern California preparing for tonight’s Semper Fidelis All-American Football Bowl in Carson. Amundsen expects him to be available Saturday.
- Central trailed 44-32 midway through the third quarter.
- This occurred on the road, before a packed house and against a perennial section power that arrived 15-2.
But the Grizzlies, behind its frontcourt power of 2012 All-State Sophomore Randle and 6-6 fellow juniors Darius Hamilton and Nate Amundsen — who came with his father this season from Clovis East — forged a 25-5 run for a 57-49 lead with 4 minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the game.
Vital to the turnaround was Central — outrebounded 21-11 in the first half — beating the Tigers 15-7 on the boards in the fourth quarter behind Nate Amundsen’s seven.
Tray Greenberry scored 18 points for Edison, which had a 3-point attempt by T.J. Viney fall short at the buzzer.
By Andy Boogaard