Miller upsets Purdy in district semifinal
The fifth-seeded Miller Cardinals upset the top-seeded Purdy Eagles 58-54 in the Class 2, District 12 semifinal on Feb. 23.
Purdy (18-9) entered the contest looking to advance to its second consecutive district title game. Miller (11-11) last tasted the district title championship in 2010 when they held off Wheaton to secure the trophy.
Both teams traded blows early in the contest, trying to establish control.
Purdy's Brent Cornman hit a 3-pointer to lift the Eagles to a 14-11 lead with 1:27 left in the opening quarter as the Eagles held a 16-14 edge at the first break.
Miller's brother duo of Jordan Jack and Riley Jack changed the momentum in the second period and opened the frame with three baskets to lift the Cardinals to a 22-16 cushion.
The Eagles pushed back with a Cornman layup and 3-pointer to trim the lead to 22-21 and tied the game 25-25 on a 17-foot jumper by Cameron Terry with two minutes left in the first half.
The Jack combo rallied the Cardinals in the final 45 seconds to send the visitors into the locker room with a 32-27 advantage.
"We talked about attacking the rim more in the second half," said Purdy coach Tommy Egan. "I thought we did a good job of being the aggressors in the third period."
Riley Jack's triple with 3:46 left in the third period gave Miller a 42-34 cushion.
Purdy's Terry ignited the large Eagles' fan base with a two-handed jam, and the black and yellow responded with a 6-0 run to trail 42-39 at the final break.
The Eagles continued the momentum into the fourth quarter and took a 50-49 lead on Keevin Walker's driving basket with 5:18 left in regulation. Walker extended the lead to 52-49 with a 12-foot jump shot with 2:49 left.
Miller clawed back with a layup by Chris Collins then took a 53-52 lead with a Dalton Gulick shot with 1:59 left.
Jordan Jack made it 56-52 with 53 seconds left before Austin Hancock's put-back cut the deficit to 56-54 with 35 seconds left.
Purdy had a chance with 15 seconds left in the game but Corman's 3-pointer, rimmed out of the basket and two free throws by Riley Jack secured the Miller win.
"We are going to miss our seniors," said Egan. "We are losing a lot of size. The key for us is to get in the gym and work on getting better."
Scoring for Miller: Riley Jack, 19 points; Jordan Jack, 15; Gulick, 8; Steve Faucett, 6; Collins, 4; Dolan Parnell, 3; Jared Mallory, 2; and Kyle Davidson, 1.
Scoring for Purdy: Cornman, 20 points; Walker, 10; Terry, 9; Hancock, 6; Alex Mareth, 5; and Glen Scott and Tyler Scott, 2 each.
Egan stressed to his Eagles about the need for a quick start to the Class 2, District 12 quarterfinal game against College Heights on Feb. 19.
Purdy failed to control the opening tip and trailed 2-0 seconds into the game. After that, the black and yellow erupted like a roaring volcano.
The Eagles ripped off 13 consecutive points and outscored the Cougars 39-10 in the first period and claimed an 82-45 victory.
"We played to our potential in the first half," said Egan. "We raced out in transition, made the extra pass to the open shooter and guarded well."
The Eagles swelled their lead to 54-16 with 3:54 left in the second period when Egan sent in his JV squad to finish the half.
Purdy had 10 players crack the scoring column and four players achieve double-digit scoring numbers.
The second half was more of the same as Purdy overwhelmed the Cougars to lead 73-34 at the final break.
Scoring for College Heights: Josh Woodmansee, 20 points; Jake Hamilton, 9; Ryan Beaver, 8; Dagen Worthington, 4; and Tyler Melton and Joe Sherwood, 2 each.
Scoring for Purdy: Tyler Scott, 15 points; Mareth, 13; Terry and Walker, 10 apiece; Glen Scott, 7; Andrew McCormick, 5; Hancock, 4; and Jonatan Salazar, Kelton Mattingly and Lucas Ridenour, 2 each.