CEDAR RAPIDS — As much as mom and dad might want it to be that way, Keegan and Kris Murray insist they are not a package deal when it comes to college basketball.
The identical twin brothers from Cedar Rapids Prairie are pretty much going through the recruiting thing together right now. But if one likes a school better than the other, they will be content to go their separate ways.
“We’ll think about staying together,” Keegan Murray said, after Prairie’s 67-41 smackdown Thursday night of Western Dubuque. “It’ll just come down to wherever we like most. It doesn’t matter if it’s together or separate.”
The Murrays are visiting Drake this weekend, with the possibility existing of high-major programs getting in on them seriously at some point, too. They have great bloodlines, considering their dad is former Iowa Hawkeye Kenyon Murray, who is an assistant coach for Prairie.
There is no question about the twins’ ability to shoot. Keegan made five 3-pointers and Kris four, as Prairie (4-3) hit the holiday break on an up note.
They are developing other parts of their respective games this season, too, thanks to a growth spurt that has them at 6-foot-5.
Kris came in as his team’s leading scorer, averaging 20 points a game, a number he hit on the nose here. Averaging about a dozen a game, Keegan had 15 to help hand Western Dubuque (7-1) its first loss.
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“They’ve grown physically, you can see that,” said Prairie Coach Jeremy Rickertsen. “But they’ve certainly diversified their games. Last year, they were kind of known as 3-point shooters. They both are very capable at that. But they’ve added dimensions ... They’re both getting to the line and making free throws, which they weren’t necessarily doing last year.”
“My height has helped me develop different levels of my game,” Kris Murray said. “This summer, I really worked on my mid-range (shooting) and getting to the basket. Last year, I kind of settled for a lot of 3s, but this year, I can give a pump fake, they’ll go for it, and I’ve got the ability now to get to the basket.”
Prairie rolled to a 40-19 halftime lead behind torrid shooting that included a 7-for-12 performance from the arc. Harrison Cook added 15 points for the Hawks, who could be a handful post break.
Starting forward Mason Hook, an interior presence at 6-foot-7, has been out with an injury but will return in the new year. So will forward Levi Usher, an important hustle player who is close to coming back from a broken leg incurred early in Prairie’s 2017 football season.
“We really shared the ball tonight,” Keegan Murray said. “This was a good one to end on. We played our best game of the whole year, I think.”
“I told them we could not get outworked tonight, because I had a feeling (Western Dubuque) would come in trying to prove they are worthy of playing 4A,” Rickertsen said. “I thought our guys took that to heart, came out and set the tone early. And it always helps when you’re making shots.”
Western Dubuque will join the Mississippi Valley Conference next season, so this was a preview game, of sorts, for the Bobcats. It did not go well.
Guard Jordan Lake had a team-high 12 points.
“The biggest thing tonight was the difference in leagues,” WD Coach Dennis Geraghty said. “We’re a really good Wamac team. This was just a different level for us. It’s something we’ll have to adjust to.”
AT C.R. PRAIRIE
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WESTERN DUBUQUE (41): Kale Cartee 2-9 2-2 6, Alec Wulfekuhle 1-4 0-0 2, Kyle Cleary 0-1 0-0 0, Jordan Lake 4-13 3-4 12, Sam Goodman 2-10 0-0 6, Grant Kelchen 2-5 0-0 5, Kyle Lehmann 0-1 0-0 0, Will O’Brien 1-3 0-0 2, Andrew Welty 0-1 0-0 0, Dylan Johnson 2-4 0-0 5, Justin Kluesner 0-1 0-2 0, Daquan Gaston 0-1 0-0 0, Matthew Maiers 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 15-54 5-8 41.
C.R. PRAIRIE (67): Harrison Cook 7-9 0-0 15, Logan Burg 2-4 0-0 4, Kris Murray 8-12 0-0 20, Keegan Murray 5-10 0-0 15, Griff Clark 3-7 1-1 8, Matt Walter 0-0 0-0 0, Quinn Langfitt 0-1 0-0 0, Bryce Trpkosh 0-2 0-0 0, Aaron Longwell 0-2 0-0 0, Boaz Congera 0-0 0-2 0, Sebastian Simmons 1-2 0-0 3, Jacob Fisher 0-0 0-0 0, Jay Larson 1-1 0-0 2, Yden Da 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-51 1-3 67.
Halftime — Prairie 40, Western Dubuque 19. 3-point goals — Western Dubuque 6-23 (Cartee 0-4, Lake 1-5, Goodman 2-9, Kelchen 1-1, O’Brien 0-1, Welty 0-1, Johnson 1-1, Maiers 1-1), Prairie 12-26 (Cook 1-2, Burg 0-1, Kr. Murray 4-7, Ke. Murray 5-6, Clark 1-4, Trpkosh 0-1, Longwell 0-2, Simmons 1-2, Da 0-1). Rebounds — Western Dubuque 25 (Johnson 4), Prairie 38 (Clark 7). Total fouls — Western Dubuque 9, Prairie 10. Fouled out — None. Turnovers — Western Dubuque 7, Prairie 13.
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