Championship berth on the line for Purdy

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Purdy's Desirie Ennes drives through traffic during district action on Monday. Jared Lankford

Lady Eagles face thorn in the side Pierce City in semis

The hottest ticket in Barry County tonight (Wednesday) could be at Southwest High School for the Class 2, District 12 semifinals.

The first game pits No. 1 seed Miller against the hometown favorite, No. 4 seed Southwest. The two teams are slated to tip at 6 p.m.

Purdy's Rion Boyd, left, and Layne Skiles converge to trap a McAuley Catholic player during district action at Southwest on Monday. Jared Lankford

The 7:30 p.m. game involves Purdy and Pierce City. The two teams have combined to win the last five district titles and met the last three years, twice in the district championship, with Pierce City owning all three victories.

"Pierce City is a great team with a great coach," said Eli Ernst, Purdy coach. "I've said it before, they are a different team than last year, as are we, and I felt we were fortunate to beat them during the regular season."

Purdy turbo-clocked McAuley Catholic, 58-25, in the district quarterfinal round. Ernst attributed the win to his squad's ability to control the tempo.

"We wanted to speed the pace of the game up, and they wanted to be more deliberate with the ball," Ernst said. "Once we built a small cushion, they were forced out of their game plan, and we kept chugging along."

Ernst said the plan employed against the Lady Warriors will be similar to what Purdy wants to use against Pierce City.

"We know the game is going to be a dog battle," Ernst said. "Our girls know what has happened the last three years -- they lived it. I won't need to remind them. I think both fan bases will show up in force, and it will be a great game."

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