Lady Eagles finding new roles on hoops team

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Purdy Coach Eli Ernst knows his Lady Eagles basketball team has talent this season. Coming into this year, he finally had veteran leadership and a chance to make some noise.

A season-ending knee injury to Courtney White dampened the team's spirits and some of that leadership for a short time, but not its resolve.

"Losing Courtney was a big blow," Ernst said. "Her leadership, scoring and defense will be hard to replace."

Instead of hanging their heads, Ernst and his Lady Eagles have rolled up their sleeves and are going to work. They won the first two games of the Diamond Tournament before dropping the championship match to Jasper.

"We are still working though some of those early season problems of rust and getting into playing form," Ernst said. "I was encouraged to see the effort the girls displayed. We have had to change our rotations and ask some more out of our team with Courtney's injury."

The Lady Eagles brace for their second tournament in as many weeks as they open play in the Clever Tournament on Thursday.

Ernst said they were excited for the opportunity to play other schools, but needed the three-day break to work on the team.

"We are going to spend the first part of this week addressing things we saw at Diamond," he said. "However, we needed the break to rest and heal. We'll be ready to play Thursday."

Purdy was given the No. 1 seed and will face No. 8 seed Verona at 4:30 p.m.

"We're honored with the seed," Ernst said. "We got into this tourney to see Sparta, Clever and Hallsville. It just happened that we drew a conference opponent to open the tourney."

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