Lady Eagles come together for win

Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Purdy’s Dally Craig puts up a short-range jumper over Cassville’s Summer Driver during the Lady Eagles’ 46-41 win over the Lady Wildcats Friday. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Purdy excited to have starters back on floor

For only the second time since November, the Purdy girls basketball team had all five of its regular starters on the floor Friday, and it paid off.

The Lady Eagles overcame a 10-point deficit in the third quarter to come away from Cassville with a 46-41 win.

Cassville’s Ashlynn Bryan drives to the basket, covered by Purdy’s Annabelle Bowman. The Lady Eagles defeated the Lady Wildcats on Friday, 46-41. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

“We have had to fight for everything,” said Purdy Head Coach Brandon Moore. “We played a lot in the summer and started on fire, then COVID hit us and injuries hit us, and tonight was only the second time since the end of the preseason tournament that we’ve had all five of our starters at the same time.

“When those five put their heads together, they can play ball. We didn’t play a real great game tonight, but we stayed around and kept at it.”

“Keeping at it” was the most accurate explanation for the Lady Eagles route to victory Friday, as they cut a 10-point Cassville lead in the third quarter down to only 2 with three minutes left in the final frame. Cassville added a point, then Purdy hit a three-pointer to knot the score at 41 each.

“We hit a basket in the third quarter, and two possessions later, we hit two more,” Moore said. “That gave us a spark. Bree Perkins stepped up to hit that 3-pointer. That wasn’t even a designed

play, and it was her first basket of the night.”

After the Perkins 3, it was all Purdy. Turnovers and foul outs in the final two minutes doomed the Lady Wildcats and gave the Lady Eagles the opportunity to put the game away.

Annabelle Bowman, Purdy senior, said the win was an important one for her team.

“We felt this wave of confidence as our players have come back together and can play,” she said. “We lost it a bit in the third quarter [against Cassville], but we came out in the fourth and were determined to get the win.”

Bowman said the key for the Lady Eagles, especially with lineup changes, has been to play unselfish ball.

“We play for our teammates and not for ourselves,” she said. “Like in that fourth quarter, we got the momentum and kept striving and scoring. This win is for sure a confidence booster for us.”

Moore said he hopes that boost lasts.

“Going forward, we hope to carry this momentum over the next couple games and into the Marionville Tournament,” Moore said. “We [played Wheaton on Monday] and have Pierce City on Thursday, and in both of those, we should be fine. We just want to come into every game and compete.”

Scoring for Purdy: Kinsley Mattingly, 19; Bowman, 9; Dally Craig, 7; Bayleigh Robbins, 6; Perkins, 4; and Hadly Hughes, 1.

Scoring for Cassville: Kyren Postlewait, 19; Lilly Harrison, 8; Summer Driver, 5; Marianne McCrackin, 3; Ashlynn Bryan, 2; and Riley Morris, 2.

Results from the Lady Eagles’ contest against Wheaton Monday were not available at presstime. They take the court next on Thursday, hosting Pierce City at 6 p.m.

Cassville played in Miami, Okla., Saturday and at Seneca on Tuesday. The Lady Wildcats’ next contest is Thursday at Lamar.

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