The Southwest Trojans struggled shooting the ball on the road and lost back-to-back contests at Purdy (51-46) and at Mt. Vernon (73-60) last week.
Southwest can usually rely on pressure defense to help survive cold spells on offense, but both Purdy and Mt. Vernon put on long-range shooting exhibitions to keep the Trojans at bay.
Purdy's shooters buried clutch shot after clutch shot while the visiting Trojans shot only 35 percent from the field and a dismal three for 21 from three-point range.
Southwest scorers: Cutberth, 15; Tyler Ferguson, 12; Skylar Knoll, 8; James Pettit, 3; Travis Hayworth, 3: Jordan Epling, 3; and Jeff Elkins, 1.
Purdy scorers: Devon Bennett, 14; Drew Williams, 8; Cody Hall, 8; Cameron Terry, 8; Garen Nelson, 7; and Brent Cornman, 3.
|Then on Thursday night, the Mountaineers torched the nets for 71 percent from beyond the arc in handing the Trojans consecutive defeats.||Southwest trailed 17-12 after one quarter, but then the Mt. Vernon bombers propelled the home team to a 39-26 halftime lead. The Trojans played the Mountaineers dead even in the third and fourth quarters but could not cut into the double-digit lead.|
Southwest scorers: Knoll, 21; Pettit, 9; Ferguson, 8; Elkins, 8; and Cutberth, 6. Knoll added 10 rebounds for a double-double performance.
Ozark 7 race up
The Wheaton Bulldogs beat the Purdy Eagles on Thursday night, 65-51, throwing the Ozark 7 Conference into a train wreck where four teams are tied for second place, just a game back of the Verona Wildcats. With the season barely underway, Verona is the only remaining Ozark 7 team with a perfect conference record.
McAuley defeated Exeter for their its conference victory, leaving the Tigers as the only team of the seven without a conference win. Defending conference champion Wheaton blew a 10-point lead and lost to Verona at home. Southwest lost to Purdy, Purdy lost to Wheaton, and Thomas Jefferson lost to Wheaton.
"Parity" is the new buzz word this year in the Ozark 7.
Purdy's week pretty much summed up the conference season to date. The Eagles won an exciting rivalry game over Southwest on Tuesday night and took the outright lead in the Ozark 7 standings. But the Eagles relinquished that advantage with the loss to Wheaton just two nights later.
Conference play adjourns over the Christmas break, although several Ozark 7 schools will participate in holiday tournaments. The fun resumes immediately when schools return to classes in January 2012. Thomas Jefferson plays Verona on Jan. 6 and Southwest on Jan. 9, while Wheaton and Southwest collide on Jan. 13.