Hampton’s Murray siblings show drive to succeed
Saturday, February 27, 2021 | 9:01 AM
For years, Brennan and Meghan Murray have squared off at the basketball hoop in the driveway of their Hampton home.
Older brother vs. little sister.
“I’ve always been taller than her,” Brennan said, “but it was always competitive no matter what. We never go easy on each other, and we’re not backing down.”
Now it’s up to Hampton’s opponents to try to stop them.
The youngest of six siblings who all attended Hampton, Brennan is a 6-foot-2 sophomore point guard for the boys basketball team and Meghan is a 5-4 freshman guard for the girls team.
The two underclassmen, who each wear a No. 10 jersey, have taken on significant roles for their respective teams as both programs head into the WPIAL playoffs, which are scheduled to start Feb. 27 or March 1.
Brennan averages 6.9 points along with a team-best 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists for the Talbots (3-7, 4-13). He finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and three steals in a 60-52 win over Shaler on Feb. 5 and had 12 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in an 82-73 overtime loss to Butler on Feb. 16.
“Brennan has grown and matured from his freshman year, and that’s been evident,” coach Joe Lafko said. “He brings a lot of basketball skills to the table, and he’s doing a great job. He’s dedicated, and we’re looking forward to good things out of Brennan in the next few years.”
Despite being a sophomore, Brennan also has helped pilot the senior-less Talbots during the demands of a covid-impacted season.
“Brennan emerged as a leader of this team from the beginning of our open gyms in the summer, throughout the fall and into this season,” Lafko said. “He has taken on that role.”
Meghan has earned a spot at starting guard for the Talbots (9-2, 13-4), who clinched the Section 2-5A title with a 49-35 victory at Plum on Feb. 20. She averaged 18.5 points in a pair of victories over rival Mars, including a season-high 22 in a 57-56 win over the Planets on Jan. 18.
“She’s really savvy,” Hampton coach Tony Howard said, “I think the No. 1 thing I recognized about her is how hard she plays and how hard she practices. She has that competitive fire. … Put that along with all of her ball skills and ability, and you’ve got a nice ballplayer.”
Meghan is the youngest of six, with five older brothers. “She’s the baby,” said her dad, Pat, who coaches Meghan’s AAU basketball team.
Growing up with five older brothers instilled a sense of competitiveness and toughness in Meghan. When she was in kindergarten, she would join basketball games with third- and fourth-grade boys.
“She always kept up, even though they were a lot bigger than her,” Pat Murray said.
Meghan had a lot of athletes at home to contend with, as well. Pat (Class of 2015) and Ryan (‘17) played for some of Lafko’s best teams in his 25 seasons at Hampton, and Colin last fall enjoyed a first-team all-Greater Allegheny Conference season as a senior defensive back for the Talbots football team. The middle son, Duncan, didn’t play at Hampton but was a regular in the family pick-up games.
“It was crazy,” Meghan said. “We’d always be out in the driveway playing 3-on-3. It made me more competitive.”
Watching his older brothers succeed in basketball is the main reason Brennan stuck with the sport.
“When you are younger, you pretty much play every sport,” he said. “But seeing them play basketball and being really good at it and having a love for it motivated me to want to do that and be good at that sport.”
These days, Brennan and Meghan still play a lot of one-on-one games at the family hoop. Brennan, who is about 10 inches taller than his sister, usually wins. But like all healthy sibling rivalries, it’s never completely one-sided.
“If I’m beating him, he always get mad,” Meghan said. “One game I beat him, and he had five fouls and two technicals. My dad was the ref. He didn’t agree with the calls.”
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