Purdy prepares for pivotal week

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Purdy's Alex Mareth leads the Eagles on a fast break during the Miller Tournament. Mareth and the Eagles have a busy schedule coming up on the hardwood. Jared Lankford/sports@cassville-democrat.com

Eagles win two of three at Miller Tourney

It wasn't a pretty game by any stretch of the imagination as the Purdy Eagles opened play in the Miller Invitational with a 70-40 loss to Greenfield Thursday.

A toxic combination of a long layoff, weather delays and a hot-shooting Wildcats team culminated in a 30-point thumping.

Purdy coach Tommy Egan didn't pull any punches when addressing the loss.

"We were flat and rusty and just got beat," he said. "Greenfield is a solid team. They showed us what happens when you aren't ready to play."

The Eagles' last game was a Dec. 19 win at Wheaton. Electing not to participate in a holiday tournament and Mother Nature sending in an arctic blast meant the black and gold went almost a month without playing.

However, the hangover didn't last too long, as Purdy responded with wins over McAuley, 56-47, and Jasper, 79-65, to claim fifth.

"We responded well and need to keep the momentum building," Egan said.

Purdy begins a tough two-week stretch in their schedule that could make or break the season.

On Friday, the Eagles travel to Pierce City to play the defending district champions.

"Pierce City is a big game for us, no doubt," Egan said. "If we are going to get a high seed in the district tournament then Friday is a 'must win' game."

The game should be a track meet as both squads like to get up and down the floor. Look for a high-scoring affair.

Purdy then begins play in a tough Spokane Tournament.

"We have a solid rotation of eight players," Egan said. "We need them to understand and do their jobs."

Purdy's two leading scorers are Alex Mareth and Brent Cornman.

"Alex and Brent can score at will and we need them two every night," Egan said. "If the other six players play their part and Alex and Brent do their jobs, we will be fine."

The Spokane Tourney begins on Jan. 20 and Friday's tilt at Pierce City starts at 6 p.m.

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