Eagles’ confidence brewing

Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Purdy senior Zack Brewer looks for a pass during the Eagles’ 50-47 win over Pierce City on Jan. 19. The Eagles hit the hardwood again this Friday, hosting Seneca for their homecoming contest. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Purdy gearing up for tough conference schedule

The Purdy boys basketball team is gaining confidence, helped along last week by a 50-47 win over neighbor Pierce City on Jan. 19.

The Eagles (11-4) were nursing a 2-point lead in the final minute of play, forcing Pierce City to foul. Purdy added free throws to extend the score and held on defensively to secure its first win over Pierce City in recent years.

“We had been in positions like that before, like against Lamar when we led the whole game, and we didn’t come out on top,” said Ryan Stokes, Purdy coach. “It’s good to see we are improving and learning how to put games away. We haven’t beaten Pierce City in a couple years, so it was nice to get that win.”

Stokes said his squad shot the ball well and rebounded well defensively.

“Our guards also did a good job taking care of the ball down the stretch and putting us in the position to have a chance to win,” he said.

While the Eagles enjoyed the victory, Stokes said there were some red flags still.

“Our defense could have been better, but we found a way to win,” he said. Offensively, we understood our game plan, but at times we forgot our plays and our sets, so we have to make sure we know our stuff.”

That is the team’s focus now heading into conference play.

“We have not played a conference game yet because a couple have been canceled,” Stokes said. “District-wise, we’ve beat Diamond and Pierce City, but those are the only district games we’ve played so far. I think if we keep playing the way we are, we should finish in the top half of the district. There’s only six teams in the district since we moved up to Class 3. It’s crazy we are the smallest Class 3 school in the state, but I guess someone has to be.”

The team is also working on its goal of a conference championship.

“We are excited to make a conference title run,” Stokes said. “It’s tough, but doable. I don’t think we will do it undefeated, maybe with one loss or winning a share. Crane is loaded, and Spokane, Galena and Southwest are all very good this year. The Southwest Central League is just tough.”

Going forward, shoring up play knowledge and improving on the back end are the Eagles’ focuses.

“We’re going back to focusing on defense and making sure we do the little things right,” Stokes said. “Our help defense has not been the best. Offensively, we have to focus on the game plan and be able to execute it.”

Scoring for Purdy against Pierce City: Jesus Aldava, 16; Osiel Aldava, 13; Zack Brewer, 11; Clay Henderson, 6; Cash Keeling, 2; and Ezequiel Garcia, 2.

Purdy played Diamond again on Friday, earning a 56-37 road win.

The Eagles played Blue Eye Tuesday. Results were not available as of presstime. Purdy will hit the hardwood again this Friday, hosting Seneca for its homecoming contest.

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