Purdy's team mentality gives hope for the season

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Purdy's Luiz Cruz drives to the lane for the Eagles during action this season. Jared Lankford sports@cassville-democrat.com

Eagles come up short in comeback attempt, still find encouragement

Facing a 17-point deficit with less than two quarters to play, the Purdy boys basketball team faced a decision Friday night against Pierce City.

The Eagles could roll over, go through the motions and get blown out, or they could gather their pride and battle.

Over the final 15 game minutes, Purdy whittled, whacked and trimmed the Pierce City advantage and closed it to 54-52 with 1:10 left in regulation.

Purdy even had a shot to tie the game at the end of regulation, but came up just short, falling 58-55.

For Egan, he was most proud of his team's resiliency.

"I love these guys," Egan said. "We may not be the most talented team on the floor, but the guys give me everything they got each and every night."

Purdy was outmatched in the first half and Egan said the game was decided by Pierce City's dominate effort rebounding, but his never-say-die-team encouraged him.

"We have told these kids all season that if they play four hard quarters, good things will happen," Egan said. "Games like tonight help reinforce the coaching. The fact that we came up just short will make those guys work just that much harder."

Purdy's defense is designed to force turnovers. Those did not come until the fourth quarter, when it collected four. Purdy was able to speed up Pierce City and force mental mistakes.

"What we did in the fourth quarter, we wanted to do for the entire game," Egan said. "Pierce City is a good team and made just enough play to win. You have to give them credit."

The Eagles begin play in the Sarcoxie Tournament this week. Game times were not available at press time.

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