One of Jimmy Murray's former coaches spoke softly from the Cheltenham bleachers while watching the player.
"Jimmy's got the green light tonight," he said several times, emphasizing his former player's early confidence. As the Plymouth Whitemarsh junior guard continued to prove him right throughout his game at Cheltenham, the coach made sure those around him knew, "Jimmy's feeling it tonight."
Eventually, Murray's game spoke for itself. He knocked down six three-pointers and led the Colonials with 31 points in Tuesday night's 88-53 win at Cheltenham in a Suburban One League American Conference matchup.
"I just found my shot early in warm-ups, and it kept working throughout the game," Murray said. "I just felt it. I just kept it going. . . . Once you start feeling it, you feel that everything is going to go in."
Murray's big game was also a statement game for Plymouth Whitemarsh (3-1, 2-0 conference). After an 11-12 campaign last season, the Colonials wanted to show their potential in a road game against a division foe in Cheltenham (1-4, 1-1).
"Last year didn't sit well with us," Plymouth Whitemarsh coach Jim Donofrio said. "Everything about it was a little frustrating. . . . This was one of those moments that was a test."
"We want to come back and win the league," Murray said. "We're coming off a hard season last year, and we want to do better."
Murray's big night punctuated his turnaround after a rough opener against Dobbins, in which he scored six points in a loss. After that defeat, Murray started practicing more on his own, passing up his Sunday off and devoting extra time after team sessions.
Since his slow start, Murray had two games of 18 points before Tuesday's explosion.
"I kept working out and shooting," he said. "I was keeping it flowing, trying to get things going for myself."
Murray took a pass and was immediately surrounded in the fourth quarter. His former coach was worried, saying "No, Jimmy. No, Jimmy."
This time, the coach was wrong. Murray's shot hit nothing but net, and he was feeling it - just as he was the rest of the night.
Ply. Whitemarsh 18 22 23 25 – 88
Cheltenham 12 17 16 8 – 53
PW: Jimmy Murray 31, DeAngelo Chisholm 3, Manuel Herezi 15, TJ Minetola 8, Cameron Johnson 11, Brett Paul 4, Andre Mitchell 14, Mike Lotito 2.
C: Khalil White 1, Isiah Daniels 3, Josh Coleman 6, Jeremiah Coleman 2, Aaron Burton 21, Chris Myarick 2, Kevin Graham 8, Justin Sutton 6, Brandon Mack 4.