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LW North's Ryan Pellack advances the ball against Plainfield North's Kendall Interial. | John Patsch~For Sun-Times Media

Lincoln-Way North forward/center Cody Murphy said his goal over the offseason was to improve his shooting.

On Wednesday night, the senior hit 10-of-15 shots and score 23 points while grabbing seven rebounds to power the Phoenix to a 59-46 victory over Plainfield North on Day 2 of the Plainfield North Holiday Tournament.

“We used the screen-and-roll a lot, and it seemed like it was open every time,” the 6-foot-6 Murphy said. “I was feeling my shot. I think I improved it a lot over the summer. Before, I was posting up my guy all the time. Now my range is about 15 feet.”

Murphy scored only one basket in the first quarter that ended with Lincoln-Way North (5-3, 2-0 in the tournament) on top 17-7. But he tacked on six baskets in the second quarter as Plainfield North (4-5, 0-2 in the tourney) was looking up at a 35-16 halftime deficit.

Try as they might, the Tigers never got closer than 12 points in the second half.

“We’re not doing it right now,” Plainfield North coach Nick DiForti said. “We’ve got guys who are pressing. We had a tough one yesterday (55-35 loss to Benet) — we’re in a funk, for sure.

“We did some good things, but we came out flat, and then we came out flat to start the second quarter. It seemed like we were battling to get back to within 15 the rest of the game. We didn’t finish, and when we needed a rebound most, we didn’t get it.”

Sophomore Trevor Stumpe led the Tigers with 12 points, 9 in the second half, and Kendall Interial scored 9.

Denton Wallace had 9 points, Daryle Morgan 8 and Tre Lewis 7 for the Phoenix.

“Wallace shot the ball well, Murphy had a great game and Lewis played like the point guard we want him to be — assists first, points second,” Lincoln-Way North coach John Terry said. “He was great in transition, had some nice feeds.”

Lewis’ passing helped the Phoenix shoot 58.7 percent on 27-of-46.

The negative from Terry’s standpoint? “There definitely was some slippage to start the second half,” he said. “We can’t do that. We were up 19 at half and they scored the first three buckets of the second half.

“Our defense was a little lax in the second half.”

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