"This is a real big win for our team," said Purdy Head Coach Grant Young. "I told the girls before the game started that we had won a lot of games but hadn't won anything. This season, we have shared a conference title and dropped heartbreaking championship games. We were always a step away from achieving out goals."
Purdy started the game strong and built a 21-4 advantage at the end of the first quarter. Liberal outscored Purdy 15-14 in the second period to trail 35-19 at halftime.
"Coach told us at halftime to keep working hard," said Lady Eagles' Shelby White. "It feels good now that we won. It took a team effort, and we don't have any plans to stop."
Liberal would not go away quietly. The Lady Bulldogs used a 14-5 run to pull within 40-33 with 3:15 remaining in the third period. That forced the Lady Eagles to call a timeout.
"All I essentially said was 'fix it,'" said Young. "Liberal came out fired up in the second half and made a run. The girls did a great job of responding and put the game away."
Purdy came out of the timeout and promptly went on a 10-1 run to lead 50-34 at the end of the third quarter.
"Our fans are a big part of our support," said Purdy's Brooke Swadley. "They always give us a lift when we hit a rough patch. My teammates are great too. They also provide a lift. I get nervous before the start of every game, but I know that I don't have to do everything myself and this is a good team."
"It's unreal," explained Purdy's Addy Roller. "This win shows us what we can do if we stick together and play as a team. We are ready to make a run (in the playoffs)."
White led the Lady Eagles in scoring with 21 points. Also scoring for Purdy were: Roller, 12 points; Audrey Patton, 11 points; Swadley, 9 points; Mattie White, 5 points; Shelby Scott and Brittany Mareth, 3 points each; and Rachael Neill, 2 points.
Purdy plays Crane tonight (Wednesday) in the sectional playoff round at Republic. Tipoff is set for 7:45 p.m.
The Lady Eagles advanced to the district finals with an impressive 62-32 win over Miller last Wednesday.
The Lady Eagles utilized three scoring runs to extinguish any thoughts Miller might have had of an upset.
The Lady Cardinals led 4-2 in the opening minutes of the game before Purdy responded with a 9-0 run to take an 11-4 lead. The Lady Eagles concluded the first quarter with an 18-6 advantage.
The Lady Eagles outscored Miller 15-11 in the second quarter to lead 33-17 at halftime. Purdy opened up a 59-26 advantage at the end of the third quarter.
The Lady Eagles were eight for 18 from the three-point line and snagged 41 rebounds.
"We ran the floor well in the second and third quarters," said Young. "Our pressure defense really gave Miller fits and led to some easy baskets and extra possessions for us. We are a really hard team to guard when are outside shots are falling."
Roller led the Lady Eagles in scoring with 21 points. Also scoring for Purdy were: Swadley, 14 points; White 11 points; Scott, 8 points; Patton and Neill 3 points each; and Kristyn Cornman, 2 points.