Pierce City earns victory over Purdy
It was the battle of the Lady Eagles on Jan. 11 when the Pierce City and Purdy girls tangled on the basketball hardwood.
The Pierce City Lady Eagles soared to the top of the victory ledge with a 55-34 topping of Purdy.
"We finally got healthy at the holiday break, and we are playing well," said Pierce City coach Rob Guerin. "Emily (Ashley) and Krishna (Merriman) played really solid tonight. I thought the girls as a team looked good tonight."
The two Class 2 schools have gone separate directions since Dec. 21, 2012.
Purdy (7-9) entered Friday night's contest in the midst of a six-game skid.
Pierce City (9-5) achieved four victories to only one loss over the same period.
Purdy started out strong, playing tough man-to-man defense. Purdy collected five turnovers in the first eight minutes of the contest and led 9-8 when the first quarter clock expired.
"We came out and played well," said Purdy coach Eli Ernst. "The girls competed and still have that desire to win. We lost a little focus in the second half and that really hurt."
Pierce City settled down in the second quarter and used its size to score in the post.
Merriman, who finished the night with 26 points, scored on Pierce City's first three trips down the floor in the second period.
When Purdy double-teamed Merriman, Ashley made the black and gold pay with bull's eye shooting from the edge.
The green and white took a 24-21 lead into halftime.
In the third period, Pierce City took over and capitalized on nearly every Purdy mistake.
Ashley, Merriman and Christine Younker keyed a 9-3 run that gave Pierce City a 15-point (41-25) edge with two minutes left in the third.
Purdy's girls tried to push back but seemed tired on their legs. Several jump shots clanked off the front iron.
"We have got to improve," said Ernst. "We will get there. It will just take more work."
Pierce City led 41-30 after three periods and outscored Purdy 14-4 in the final frame.
"This was a big win over a district opponent," said Guerin. "The key for us is to continue to play well as the season progresses."
Scoring for Purdy: Mattie White and Desirie Ennis, 8 points apiece; Courtney White and Katie Hughes, 6 each; Skylar Lakey, 3; Billie House, 2; and Jayse Henderson, 1.
Scoring for Pierce City: Merriman, 26 points; Ashley, 15; Bailee Hayward, 5; Younker, 4; Shania Hogan, 3; and Becca Hatfield, 2.