Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 15 March 2013 00:00
His first season as head basketball coach at Roslyn High School was a smashing success, but Craig Murphy wasn’t satisfied with his team’s second place finish in Conference A-I play.
“We were one game short of what we set out as our goal,” Murphy told The Roslyn News a few days after the Bulldogs fell short in their championship game with Jericho High School. Winning conference titles, Murphy asserted, “will always be” the goal of any Roslyn team.
For the 2012-13 season, Roslyn finished with a 15 and 5 mark overall and a 8 and 3 record in conference play. Murphy praised his graduating seniors—-Mark Gjonkelaj, Terrence Pierce, Harris Silverstein, Andrew Slutsky, Neil Cohen and Mark Miller—-for setting the tone for the winning season. “They played unselfishly,” Murphy said. “They did whatever we needed to do to win.”
Despite losing so many great players, Murphy is optimistic about the future. At most every game, Roslyn had at least 10 players in the contest, meaning that the rising underclassmen have seen plenty of action.
Prior to coming to Roslyn, Murphy coached basketball at Plainedge for six years. Needless to say, he is glad to be in Roslyn, where there is a long tradition of basketball excellence. “The fans were very supportive,” he said. “It’s great to be in a place where basketball is a passion.”
Murphy was especially effusive in his praise of Gjonkelaj, the senior center who led the team in scoring and rebounding all year.
“Some school is going to be very happy when he walks into their gym next fall,” Murphy said. “He does things players his size can’t do,” the coach added, referring to Gjonkelaj’s shooting and driving ability.