Purdy boys reflect on tough loss

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Purdy senior Alex Mareth gets loose in the middle of the lane for a shot attempt during the Eagles' quarterfinal matchup with Jasper on Tuesday. Jared Lankford/sports@cassville-democrat.com

Eagles end season 15-8, look forward to next year

PURDY -- It was a mild upset when the No. 5 seed Jasper defeated the No. 4 seed Purdy Eagles, 66-53, in the quarterfinals of the Class 2, District 12 tournament at Purdy this week.

Jasper did everything an underdog is supposed to do to earn a win Tuesday. They made plays early, hit big shots and made their free throws.

Purdy, without the services of injured Brent Cornman, who averaged 18 points per game this year, fought all game but could not sustain enough momentum to overtake Jasper after the first period.

"We played hard and I saw some good things," said Tommy Egan, Purdy head coach. "We just couldn't get over the hump."

Purdy (15-8) trailed 17-13 at the end of the first period and 34-27 at halftime. After falling behind 48-39 to start the final eight minutes, Purdy cut the gap to 48-43 with 5:16 left in regulation, but could get no closer.

Purdy senior Alex Mareth scored 20 points in the contest.

"I thought we played as well as we could," Mareth said. "It's always tough to end your season. I think, with the juniors and sophomores that are coming back next season, they have a chance to be a good team."

Egan was quick to praise all of his senior players.

"Alex has been such a warrior for us this season," he said. "All four of our seniors, [Mareth, Cornman, Kelton Mattingly and Andrew McCormick], have been key to our success. We have counted on them time after time and they provided leadership."

This offseason, the Eagles plan to take a different training pattern. Instead of focusing on playing games in summer leagues, they plan to focus on player development.

"We'll be young next season, and we really need to knuckle down on our fundamental development," Egan said. "The final results of next season are partly determined by the effort we put in this offseason."

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