Huskies' Murphy moves into second all-time - Albuquerque Journal

Huskies’ Murphy moves into second all-time

Hope Christian boys basketball coach Jim Murphy gives instructions to his team before their game Friday against Hot Springs in the semifinals of the Huskies’ tournament. The victory was Murphy’s 855th, moving him into second place all time in the New Mexico boys coaching ranks.
Roberto E. Rosales/Journal

One by one, Jim Murphy has been climbing the list and overtaking one Hall of Famer after another.

Now, just a single icon sits atop his on New Mexico’s boys basketball coaching wins list.

The 63-year-old Murphy on Friday night earned his 855th career win at Hope Christian, as the Huskies defeated Hot Springs 62-45 in the semifinals of the Huskies’ tournament.

No. 855 elevated Murphy past Pete Shock and into second place on the all-time list. Shock had 854 victories at Silver and largely at Cliff.

Ralph Tasker, the late Hobbs coach, is No. 1 with 1,117 New Mexico victories.

“God has blessed with me with a lot of health to be able to do this for so many years,” said Murphy, who began coaching Hope Christian 41 years ago. “I’m very thankful.”

Murphy has jumped over quite a few legends during his career. That list includes the likes of Jim Hulsman, and Frank Castillo, and Marv Sanders, and now Shock.

“My name is in that group, and it’s pretty special,” Murphy said.

Once again, Hope Christian brought out the numbered balloons and spelled out 8-5-5 to mark this latest milestone. His players covered him with silly string at midcourt in the middle of a postgame interview.

And he saved the inevitable question from being asked.

“I’m not gonna try to beat Ralph Tasker,” he said, laughing.

But he clearly cherished this evening, and it’s meaning.

“I love this game and I love kids,” he said. “When you love what you do, every day is not a chore when you do what you want.”

Meanwhile, it’s been a tremendous week for Hope Christian basketball overall.

Recently, Kathleen Obisike of the girls team surpassed 1,000 career points with the Huskies. Jett Wyckoff from Murphy’s team got to that number a few days ago.

And both the boys and the girls are in the finals of their tournament on Saturday.

The girls beat Los Lunas 62-38 in the semifinals on Friday, and will play Artesia at 5 p.m. Saturday in the championship game. Obisike had 10 of her team-high 23 points in the second quarter for the Huskies.

The boys (10-6) follow at 7 p.m. against St. Pius (10-5); these teams played a terrific overtime game at the Rio Rancho tournament several weeks ago, with the Sartans winning 67-66 on a late bucket in the OT in the first round. St. Pius defeated Artesia 57-52 in the first semifinal on Friday. Gene Trujillo had 13 points, Jason Montoya 12 to lead St. Pius.

Wyckoff had a team-best 19 points, and Hope Christian rained down a dozen 3-pointers on the Tigers, all in the first three quarters. Noah Perry had three 3s and 13 points for the Huskies.

The Artesia girls (10-6) defeated Bloomfield 69-47 in the other semifinal. Lorin Wagner scored 20 points to lead the Bulldogs.

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