Eagles still riding roller coaster on the hardwood

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Hunter Cook drives to the basket for the Eagles in a win over Seneca on Tuesday. Jared Lankford/sports@cassville-democrat.com

Purdy hoops holds off Seneca

The ups and downs of the basketball season continued for the Purdy boys (9-5) with a 78-58 loss to Pierce City on Friday.

The Eagles though they had turned the corner on the season with a win over Seneca the previous Tuesday.

Jose Sanchez gets fouled during first half action on Tuesday in a win over Seneca. Jared Lankford/sports@cassville-democrat.com

Coming into that Tuesday tilt, Purdy basketball coach Jeremy Dresslaer had a few questions about his team’s resolve and ability to bounce back.

Just three days earlier, his Eagles were outworked, out-hustled and outplayed in the Miller Tournament championship game by Verona.

Dresslaer knew the game against Seneca was a chance for the Eagles to show that the Verona game was behind them and that they could take that next step as a team and show resiliency.

Those questions were answered in the form of an 81-74 win over the Indians.

“We hit shots tonight,” Dresslaer said. “We have six, seven, eight guys that can score a basket, and the good thing for us is that we have reached our peak potential. I’ve said that when we are making our shots, we are a tough team to beat.”

The Eagles had a big night from the free-throw line, hitting 23 of 25 attempts (92 percent) and making 10 shots from beyond the arc.

“We’ve had games this season where one guy will get his [scoring] number,”

Dresslaer said. “But tonight, we saw a great group effort.”

Purdy built a 12-point, 22-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. Over the next three periods, the Indians cut the advantage to 1-point on five occasions, only to see the Eagles find a way to push it back out.

“The thing that gets lost in all this is that I’m still in my first year coaching,” Dresslaer said. “These players are learning a new system and new roles. To see them respond like they did tonight tells me that we are making the steps.”

Scoring for Purdy against Seneca: Tyler Keeler, 19; Colt Keeling, 19; Hunter Cook, 13; Kole Rea, 12; Jose Sanchez, 10; Osiel Aldaba, 8.

The Eagles are in action this week in the Sarcoxie tournament.

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