Effort, energy there for Eagles hoopsters
Purdy looks to refine methods on holiday break
For almost 32 minutes, the Purdy boys hoops team had Cassville on its heels in the Nest.
Purdy was the more inspired team, and despite a size disadvantage, played at a high level. In the end, too many turnovers and a couple questionable shots led to its demise in a 56-50 loss to the Wildcats on Friday.
“Our kids always work hard, and I never walked off the court and thought different,” said Ryan Stokes, Purdy coach. “Playing hard is kind of a Purdy trait that came way before I got here. I thought we could have been more selective in our shots on Friday, and I thought we were a little careless with the basketball. We had over 20 turnovers, and that’s way too many.”
The Eagles traded punches with Cassville all night and even held a 47-42 lead in the third quarter.
Purdy has found something in 6-11 junior Scotty Henry, who came off the bench and scored 6 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, dished out 2 assists and collected 2 steals.
“Scotty came off the bench and gave us a lift,” Stokes said. “Big guys around here are notorious for being nice guys. I thought he showed some grit and meanness on Friday. I don’t mean he was dirty, just that he had an aggression to him that helped us in the game. He got to some balls in the passing lane ,and he blocked two shots. He is definitely progressing, especially for a kid that received very few varsity minutes last year.
“He is my sixth man right now, and he is going to continue to get opportunities on the floor. I really think he is only going to get better. I’ll tell you this, the Scotty you saw Friday will not be the same Scotty that plays for us in February.”
Purdy will not be playing in a holiday tournament, but still has plans for this winter break.
“Our goal is two-fold this week and next week,” Stokes said. “We are going to fight through these next two games, and then we have some bodies that are sore and the flu has hit our team. I am going to give them five days off to spend Christmas with their families and to heal up and recharge those batteries.
“When we come back we are focusing on decision-making and learning to value the basketball. I truly believe that if we can take care of the ball and not turn it over, we will win a lot of games. In our losses, we have had 17 turnovers or higher.”
Purdy played at Thomas Jefferson on Monday. Results were not available at press time. The Eagles travel to Seneca on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.