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story.lead_photo.caption Bud Sullins/Special to the Herald-Leader Siloam Springs senior Murphy Perkins drives to the basket against Bentonville West during a game earlier this season. Perkins and the Panthers host Greenbrier at 6 p.m. Friday for homecoming.

SILOAM SPRINGS -- Murphy Perkins has one mindset going into every basketball game -- give it everything he has every time he takes the floor.

"I don't really care who I'm playing, how big they are, how fast they are or how much talent they have on their team," Perkins said. "I know that I'm going to play as hard as I can."

The work ethic is evident in Perkins, a 6-foot senior point guard for the Siloam Springs boys basketball team. Perkins is averaging 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.4 defensive deflections per game for the Panthers.

What may be more impressive is he averages more than 25 minutes per contest in a 32-minute game -- something not lost on his coaches.

"His attitude and his effort have been amazing," Siloam Springs boys coach Tim Stewart said. "People don't realize the level of toughness that is there for a kid to keep battling and to play major minutes. He's all over the floor. As far as dives and hustles, it's every game all game. It's been a real joy to watch him develop and to not only be that competitive athlete but now be a leader and a basketball player for us."

Early on in Perkins' career, coaches would joke that Perkins played so hard and so fast that he often needed to downshift a few gears.

"He couldn't catch up to his athleticism," Stewart said. "That's the skill part in basketball. You have to have the skill to match the athleticism or else it's not useful. That's where Murphy has really worked. His outside shot is much improved, and you have to guard him out there now. He's not just a penetration threat. He's not just a dribble threat. He's a shooter. That's made him a really hard player to defend."

And Perkins still plays fast with a motor that seemingly never runs out of gas and isn't afraid to back down against bigger, more talented players.

"Growing up you always hear, if you're going to mess up, then mess up going 110 miles per hour," Perkins said. "So that's what I try and do is play as hard as I can, and sometimes it comes back and bites me in the butt. For the most part, I think my enthusiasm goes over some of the talent that I'm lacking from some of these better players that we play against. I know that I'm going to play as hard as I can. I know that I can control how hard I play. I can't control that I'm only 6-foot tall."

Perkins admitted that being a leader in the tough times is difficult, especially when your teammates are counting on you to make plays on the court.

"It's not easy," Perkins said. "You're trying to get guys going, and you might not be winning that many games right now, but what I try and tell them is we're playing for each other. We're not always playing for our record. Our seniors, it's our last run and it's the last few games of the year, so I'm trying to get them going."

Bud Sullins/Special to the Herald-Leader Siloam Springs senior Murphy Perkins leads the Panthers with 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2.4 deflections and more than 25 minutes per game.

Sports on 02/10/2019

Print Headline: All gas, no brakes

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