Eagles make bold statement

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Purdy’s Colt Keeling prepares to power up a shot as Cassville’s No. 40 Luke Lowery and No. 23 D.J. White defend. Jared Lankford/sports@cassville-democrat.com

Purdy uses huge second half to down Cassville, 80-61

Speed, depth and hot shooting sent the Purdy boys basketball team (4-2) to an 80-61 win over Cassville on Friday.

After back-to-back losses to East Newton and Perryville (Ark.), the Eagles had refocused in practice in anticipation of the big game.

Hunter Cook knocks down a shot over Cassville’s Austin Wilson on Friday. Jared Lankford/sports@cassville-democrat.com

“Coming into the game, I knew that we had not had our best shooting night or reached our potential,” said Jeremy Dresslaer, Purdy coach. “Tonight was by far the best we had played for four quarters. We came out and never stopped.”

The atmosphere was electric in Cassville, with both teams packing the gymnasium. Over the first two quarters, the lead changed hands 15 times, and the score was tied on six occasions. Purdy clawed back from an 11-2 hole to take a 36-33 lead at halftime.

“We responded well to Cassville’s initial surge,” Dresslaer said. “We had been fighting some illness this week, but the boys showed that they were ready to play.”

The third quarter was all Eagles as they opened the frame with a 14-5 push.

Purdy was the more conditioned team on the floor, running past the Wildcats’ defenders to get layups or kicking the ball for open 3-point looks.

“We hadn’t attacked teams’ zone defenses well this season,” Dresslaer said.

“Tonight, we saw Harley Stephens come off the bench and give us six or eight points and guys like Joby Young step up on the defensive end.”

Scoring for Purdy: Colt Keeling, 27; Tyler Keeler, 19; Hunter Cook, 12; Jose Sanchez, 11; Stephens 6 and Young, 5.

Scoring for Cassville: Ethan Hoppes, 25; D.J. White, 11; Jarrod Wallace, 8; Luke Lowery, 4; Evan Kessinger, 4; Austin Wilson, 3 and Hayden Sink, 2.

The Eagles have a long layoff and return to action on Jan. 2 in the Miller Tournament.

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