By Tom Robinson
Surrounded by well-established seniors, Moriah Murray blended in so quickly and so well that the Dunmore guard finished the 2018-19 season as the most decorated freshman girls basketball player in Pennsylvania.
Working with a new set of teammates, taking on even more responsibility and drawing a whole lot more attention, Murray is proving she can be just as, if not even more, effective. In doing so, she’s a big reason the Lady Bucks are comfortably settling into their standard place among the top teams in District 2.
That was evident Friday night when six-time defending champion Dunmore opened its Lackawanna League Division 3 schedule against Old Forge, a well-qualified challenger.
Murray broke the game open in the second quarter and finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 steals in a 60-27 rout.
That all-around performance earned Murray recognition on NEPABasketball.com as the latest PNC Bank District 2 Girls Basketball Player of the Week.
“We’re a lot different this year because we’re inexperienced,” said Murray, who hit four 3-pointers and scored 14 points to key a 26-5 Dunmore advantage in the second quarter. “We only brought back two starters. We graduated three seniors.
“But we’ve all been playing together since Biddy Basketball. We all know our chemistry. We always find the open person.”
And, they have a first-team Class 3A all-state player, who was the leading scorer and more on a 29-1 state finalist team, showing the way.
Murray has averaged 18 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals in a 7-1 start through Sunday.
“Moriah does so many things on the court,” Dunmore coach Ben O’Brien said. “She’s more than a scorer. She’s more than a playmaker.
“She’s a defender. She’s an offensive rebounder. She’s an energy player.
“The energy that she plays with and the spirit that she plays with is probably her most important characteristic.”
Murray was the only freshman to make first-team all-state in any classification last season.
During the past two springs and summers, Murray played with the JB Hoops National AAU team. She is now a member of the NEPA Elite AAU program.
Moriah, who also was named PNC Bank Player of the Week as a freshman last February and a PNC Player of the Game for an NEPABasketball.com broadcast last month, is the daughter of Joseph Murray and Lynn Plotkin.