Rusty start sinks Purdy in tourney opener

Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Democrat Photo/Jared Lankford Up for 2 Purdy's Mattie White scores 2 points in the Lady Eagles opening round game of the Neosho Holiday Tournament. White finished the contest with 9 points.

The Purdy Lady Eagles basketball team (7-4) couldn't rebound from a shaky first half and fell 39-31 to the Carthage Lady Tigers to open play in the Neosho Holiday Tournament on Dec. 26.

"I am proud of the way we battled," said Purdy coach Eli Ernst. "We were cold to start the game, but we gave our team a chance (to win) in the end."

Both teams were subject to cold shooting and turnovers in the first eight minutes of play.

Democrat Photo/Jared Lankford A hard drive Courtney White, a freshman at Purdy High School, drives to the hoops for the Lady Eagles during the opening round of the Neosho Holiday Tournament.

Purdy's senior Mattie White broke the 0-0 tie at the 4:31 mark of the first quarter. The Lady Tigers outscored the black and yellow 6-2 to end the frame with a 6-4 edge.

Purdy struggled to hang on to the ball in the second period. The Lady Eagles committed nine turnovers in the period that led to a Carthage 11-3 run to open the frame. The Lady Tigers took a 19-10 edge into halftime.

Purdy started to find a rhythm in the third period with baskets by Katie Hughes and Jayse Henderson to cut the deficit to 21-14 with 6:30 left in the period. Carthage's pressure kept the Lady Eagles in check to preserve a 29-23 lead to start the final quarter with a 29-23 cushion.

The Lady Eagles used buckets by Henderson, Hughes and Courtney White to pull within 31-29 to open the fourth quarter. However, seven consecutive turnovers, before another Purdy point, allowed Carthage to re-establish a 38-29 lead with 39 seconds remaining.

Scoring for Purdy: Mattie White, 9; Katie Hughes, 8; Henderson, 5; Desirie Ennis, 4; Billie House, 3; and Courtney White, 2.

Scoring for Carthage: Vanessa Pawlak, 15 points; Emily Goeken, 8; Chole Shepard, 7; Sierra Barret, 3; and Quincy Charleston, Leigh Ann Craig and Maya Williams, 2 each.

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