Murphy, a 6-foot-5 junior center, scored a team-high 13 points for the Crusaders (5-3), and he helped Judge outrebound the taller Railsplitters (3-3), 35-33.
More important, Murphy's rugged inside play boosted Judge into the tournament championship game against Roman Catholic, a 72-70 winner over Martin Luther King in Monday's other semifinal game. The title game was to be played Tuesday night at Judge.
Murphy, a first-year starter for the Crusaders, has no fancy plan when he tries to clear out opponents beneath the basket. It sounds almost as if he might have borrowed his rebounding philosophy from Charles Barkley.
"Get your butt into 'em - and get 'em out of there," Murphy said. ''That's what they say to us."
Murphy followed such advice well against Lincoln, which often had 6-5 Mike Glitz and 6-9 Mike Krychek playing at the same time.
Murphy's seven third-quarter points helped Judge stretch a 2-point halftime lead to 45-37.
With Lincoln forced to foul to get back the ball, the Crusaders hit just 1 of 6 free throws in the game's final 2 minutes, 3 seconds. But Murphy's driving basket with 2:22 left - which came after the Crusaders had broken the Railsplitters' full-court press - put Judge up, 52-44.
The Crusaders simply were too far ahead for Lincoln to catch.
"I had a shot at the end," said Lincoln coach Charlie Davis, who got 14 points from Sean Hinson in the defeat. "I am disappointed. We played well at times, and at other times we didn't play well. At times, we didn't get the rebounds. And they were hitting the jump shot.
"And once again, we didn't get the calls (from the officials). We were reaching here and there, and it's tough to control that."
If Judge wanted to control anything against Lincoln, it was the tempo of play. Crusaders coach Bill Fox did not want the game to disintegrate into a no-defense, run-and-gun show often seen in the NBA.
So Judge often held the ball for as long as a minute in a four-corners offense before trying to work the ball inside.
Impatient with such a slow-down offense, the Railsplitters were called for several reaching fouls, resulting in a whopping 36 free throws for Judge.
"If we would have played at the pace they wanted to, we would have been in big trouble," Fox said.
But with a lift from its big man, Ed Murphy, Judge caused big problems for Lincoln, a bitter neighborhood rival.
"I don't think it's as much as a 'Battle of Mayfair' as it used to be," Fox said. "But it still is the Public League against the Catholic League, and the Public League thinks it's better than the Catholic League.
"But the Catholic League thinks it's better than the Public League. And we don't want anybody coming into our floor and beating us."
Ed Murphy made sure of that.
"It was like a local game - a neighborhood game," said Murphy, an offensive lineman for a Judge football team that beat Lincoln on Thanksgiving, 21-0. "It was just like our Thanksgiving game in football."