Emotions ran high as Murry Bergtraum hosted North Babylon in the Tayshana (Chicken) Murphy Memorial Classic. Honoring their fallen teammate who was murdered in September, the Lady Blazers played with a clear purpose, rarely giving up control of the ball, and ultimately winning 56-23 Thursday in Manhattan.
“We came out strong and played for her,” said senior guard Shequana Harris.
Murphy’s memory lifted Bergtraum, which played its best game of the season. After an early deficit, the Lady Blazers led 22-8 at the end of the first and went on a 19-0 run in the second to take a 35-12 lead into halftime.
It was more of the same in the second half as Bergtraum (6-4), ranked No. 9 in New York City by MSG Varsity, led 43-19 after three quarters.
“This is one of the best games we’ve played so far,” Bergtraum coach Ed Grezinsky said. “I was very surprised by the score. I thought it would’ve been much closer. I’m happy we won, especially today.”
Tayshana’s father, Taylonn, was presented with his daughter’s jersey by Grezinsky and the Lady Blazers after the game.
“They did a wonderful job today,” he said. “This jersey reminds me of what could have been. She’s definitely here in spirit.”
“No one will ever wear that jersey again,” Grezinsky said. “Presenting it to her father was just the right thing to do.”
Murphy remains close to the Bergtraum players who proudly wore a shirt with her picture and name on it and their Lady Blazers jerseys are embroidered with a patch featuring the initials TCM and number 15.
“We’re playing like we used to play,” said Harris, who had 15 points. “Our chemistry was there today.”
Freshman guard Ashanae McLaughlin, who scored 17 points, was very emotional during the post-game activities.
“We played really hard today,” McLaughlin said. “She was our teammate, our sister. Doing this for her felt really good. She’d want us to win.”
Brooklyn Collegiate 51, Baruch College Campus 37: Courtney Fleming had 17 points for Brooklyn Collegiate, while Patricia Curran and Destiny Freeman each had 11 points for Baruch.
McKee/Staten Island Tech 50, Midwood 37: Kaitlyn Astel had 20 points and Gabriella Marinaccio added 19 points for MSIT, while Camera Miley had 18 points for Midwood.