Eagles gritting through tough season

Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Jake Young and Jesus Aldava go for a rebound in a game against Verona this season. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Purdy expecting No. 4 or 5 seed in districts

The month of January was not kind to the Purdy boys basketball team.

The Eagles (6-13) were unable to add a tally to the win column last month, falling to seven teams with records of .500 or better.

Jake Young looks for room to attack during a game against Verona this season. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Heath Carmichael, Purdy boys basketball coach, said in the Eagles’ latest loss, a 56-25 decision at home against Southwest, scoring struggles were apparent.

“We were down a couple kids, but we played a complete first quarter,” he said. “We missed some layups and had a few around the rim that did not fall. I think with a few more opportunities, it could have been a different story. The second quarter, we struggled to score and had eight turnovers. That has been our kryptonite and made us struggle to get into the flow of our offense.”

Carmichael said the shooting woes continued in the third and fourth quarters, but his team never quit.

Travis Hughes pushes his way into the paint in a game against Verona recently. Kyle Troutman/editor@monett-times.com

“For four quarters, we never let up, and I am happy to see that,” he said. “Offensively, we struggle more often than not, unfortunately. Handling the basketball is something we’ve driven home in practice, and we need to improve there. We also had more than 20 turnovers in that game, and the season average and team goal is 10 or less.”

On the other side of the ball, the Eagles’ skipper likes more of what he sees.

“We gave up 56 in that game, but our season average is around 40, and the goal is 40 or lower,” Carmichael said. “With our personnel, we’re good in a 2-3 zone, and these last few games, we’ve matched up well primarily man-to-man. We have to guard and change the tempo because we have athletic, quality guards, and that will help us get transition buckets.”

The Eagles are 0-2 in conference play as of Monday, and they have two wins over the same district opponent, Wheaton.

“Every night in the SWCL is a dog fight,” Carmichael said. “Anyone can compete with anyone, and we’ve definitely had our hands full since Christmas. In the district, College Heights and Marionville will probably be No. 1 and 2, and we’ve played everyone but Miller. I think we’re looking at a 4-5 seed, and I like that matchup with Wheaton or Miller.

“I have faith the kids will compete with anyone. After three quarters some nights, it’s easy to pack it in and call it a night, but we are hard-nosed and will keep competing.”

Travis Hughes led Purdy against Southwest with 8 points and 5 rebounds. Ezequiel Garcia scored 7 points.

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