Becher playing pivotal role in Patriots hot startJanuary 9, 2019
By HENDRIX MAGLEY
Ever since he walked into his first varsity boys basketball practice as a freshman, Murray Becher was expected to be a major contributor for Heritage Hills.
He played in 24 games his first year and averaged 14 points per game while finishing with double-digit scoring totals in all but three games.
Just two years later, Becher became the eighth member of Heritage Hills’ 1,000-point scoring club and is the only member to reach that mark as a junior. He’s currently No. 7 all time with 1,014 total points — just 320 behind all-time boys basketball scoring leader Tim Denning and 436 behind the all-time Heritage Hills scoring leader, Abby Wahl who graduated in 2018.
Thinking back on it, would Becher have anticipated reaching this point so early in his career?
“I mean, not really,” Becher said with a laugh. “I’ve just worked hard everyday and hoped good things would come.”
His head coach Nate Hawkins has watched Becher continuously work all day and all night to help shape every part of his game, from scoring to defense.
In fact, the work ethic that Becher seems to always display is one of the reasons why Hawkins believes he was able to reach this accomplishment so quickly.
“Murray has put his heart and soul into the sport and he got rewarded,” Hawkins said. “He came in to the (varsity) program as a freshman and we threw him out into the fire right away. He’s always stayed calm and collected — he’s had great moments and some not so great moments but he’s learned from all of them.”
While Becher has always been a consistent scorer (he’s averaged at least 14 points per game every season and currently leads the area with 20.2 points per game), Hawkins believes one of the areas the junior guard/forward has improved the most is on the defensive side of the ball.
He’s currently averaging 4.5 rebounds per game and he just notched his first double-double of the season last weekend in a 61-58 victory over Madison Central (Ky.).
“He’s got a real nose for the basketball, he gets a lot of his points from the offensive glass,” Hawkins said. “I told (Murray) for our team to be good, you have to rebound because we can’t just rely on Blake (Sisley).”
Personally, one of the areas that Becher believes he’s improved on the most has nothing to do with offense or defense but more so, his leadership.
He also feels more steady during clutch situations and in tough matchups against big opponents. He’s proved that this year with his 30-point performance against North Posey and his role in holding Evansville Memorial, a team that’s long been a thorn in the Patriots side, to just 36 points.
“I’ve really gotten a lot more confidence on the floor,” Becher said. “I think in the big moments, all the confidence I’ve gotten from playing over the years it’s helped in tough times when I need to step up and do whatever it takes to win.”
Becher is one of several Patriots who is currently receiving Division I college basketball interest along with junior Simon Scherry (15.7 points per game, 4.6 assists per game) and sophomore Blake Sisley (13.0 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game).
Becher says he just tries to block that type of stuff out and focus on what’s in front of him at the moment but Hawkins knows its an exciting time for those guys.
“It’s always great to be wanted but ultimately if you want to be noticed then you have to win,” Hawkins said. “They know that if you win with your high school team then that’s how you start to get that notoriety and they’ve really bought into that.”
Winning is something that’s come at a high rate for the Patriots this season, as they’ve jumped out to an 11-1 start with quality wins over Evansville Memorial, Tell City, Evansville Central and Madison Central (Ky.) in the Indiana-Kentucky Challenge Cup.
While the Pats did drop a tough contest to Washington at the Hatchet House on Dec. 8, overall, the atmosphere around the Heritage Hills boys basketball program has been something to get excited about.
“We keep winning and people keep showing up to our games which helps our confidence,” Becher said. “As long as we keep playing together then we’ll be able to get more wins.”
Hawkins added: “They’re very in tune with what we want to accomplish. We won the conference last year but now we want the sectional (championship) and to advance even further in the tournament. Ultimately, there’s one more prize we want to go after.”
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