Lady Eagles hoops taking aim at strong finish to season

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Purdy’s Layne Skiles scores two of her game-high 37 points against Monett on Saturday in the championship game of the Seneca Tournament. Rob Wright/Special to the Cassville Democrat

Purdy soars past Monett for tourney title

There is no substitute for experience, and on Saturday, it was the more experienced Purdy girls basketball team that handled Monett in the championship game of the Seneca Tournament, 58-44.

With a team that had played for a district title last year and fought through two tough tournaments already this season, the Lady Eagles were never really threatened until Monett cut the lead to 10 points with 68 seconds left in regulation.

Zoe Brown floats toward the basket in a win over Monett on Saturday. Rob Wright/Special to the Cassville Democrat

“It was exciting coming out and playing well,” said Jason Webb, Purdy coach. “You never know how kids are going to respond on a Saturday after they have slept in, but we showed up ready to play.”

The Lady Eagles wasted no time and raced out to a 15-4 lead at the end of the first quarter. It also helped that Purdy had the best player on the floor in Layne Skiles, who recorded 37 points in the game.

“Sometimes coaching isn’t all that hard,” Webb said. “You figure out that you have a kid that can score and you get them the ball and coaching gets a whole lot easier.”

Webb said he felt his players are warming up to his style and system, and they are playing at a high level as they head toward the district tournament.

“These last two weeks feel like things have started to click, and we have learned our roles on the floor,” Webb said. “We know we aren’t the fastest team and that we have to block out if we are going to win games.”

Webb said the goal between now and the end of the season is just fine tuning the pieces of the team’s game.

“We still have some lapses on the floor from time to time, and we need to keep working on those,” Webb said. “Going forward, I like where we are at, and I think we can make a push in the district tournament and see how things shake out.”

Scoring for Purdy: Skiles, 37; Hallie Henderson, 9; Zoe Brown, 5; Cailyn Spears, 5; and Kinsley Mattingly 5.

Scoring for Monett: Katie Schmidt, 18; Kaesha George, 10; Alyssa Williams, 9; Kelsey Dalton, 3; Abby Patton, 2; Ashley Kurima, 2.

Purdy host McAuley on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

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