Battle-tested Lady Eagles keep marching
Skiles newest member in the 1,000-career point club
The hottest basketball team in Barry County is Class 2 Purdy.
The Lady Eagles entered the week 10-1 and ranked No. 7 in the state.
On Tuesday, Purdy faced Pleasant Hope in the opening round of the Marionville Lady Comet Classic. Game results were not available at presstime. Purdy entered the tournament on the heels of a hard fought, 54-49 victory over Pierce City on Friday.
"We enjoy playing them," Ernst said. "They make us better. We enjoy playing teams that push us. Coach [Rob] Guerin does an outstanding job of preparing that team. They were a handful."
Purdy fell behind 22-12 in the second quarter and scratched its way back to a 27-22 deficit at halftime.
"I think we just collected ourselves together at halftime," said Layne Skiles, Purdy junior. "We settled down and just started playing our style. We took a deep breath and got it done."
Skiles, who entered the game 19 points shy of 1,000, finished the contest with a game-high 27.
"I feel like that is a sign of my hard work," Skiles said. "But, I can't give enough credit to God or my teammates because they got me the ball."
Ernst said Skiles' skill set is what has driven her to become an outstanding talent and achieving the scoring milestone in just her junior season.
"She's such a tough matchup for teams," Ernst said. "We do a lot of things with her. She can play all five spots on the floor. If teams guard her with a post, she takes them outside. If they put a guard on her, we go to the basket. Her flexibility makes us a better team."
A win on Tuesday would send the Lady Eagles into a Thursday night battle with the winner of Ash Grove and Central at 7:30 p.m. A loss would kick them to the consolation semifinal on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Scoring for Pierce City: Belle Golubski, 13; Libby Strickler, 13; Kayla Portillo, 8; Ragan Blinzler, 7; Kendyl Hayward, 5; Christine Stellwagen, 4; and Emily Drollinger, 1.
Scoring for Purdy: Skiles, 27; Sami House, 9; Devyn Callahan, 9; Cailyn Spears, 5; Zoe Brown and Hallie Henderson, 2 each; and Rion Boyd, 1.