PHS Lady Eagles settle for third in Neosho Tornament

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Purdy Lady Eagles (11-3) recovered from a loss in the semi-finals to claim third place in the Neosho Holiday Tournament with a 49-33 victory over Rogers (Ark.) Heritage on Friday.

"This was a really good tournament for our girls," said Purdy coach Grant Young. "It showed us that if we played as a team we can compete with anyone. The key for the remainder of this season is to channel this effort and energy and use it to play consistently."

The Lady Eagles rallied from a 10-5 deficit after one quarter and outscored Heritage 19-11 in the second quarter and 13-5 in the third.

First team All-Tournament selection Addy Roller scored 20 points to pace Purdy. Katie Hughes and Mattie White, both juniors, added nine apiece.

Semi-final game

On Thursday, defending Class 7A Bentonville (Ark.) kept Purdy from scoring a basket in the fourth quarter to advance to the championship of the Neosho Holiday Classic with a 34-28 victory.

Bentonville broke out to a 17-6 lead early in the second quarter with the help of three baskets inside by Whitney Sandmann and a pair of treys by Casey Rashaun.

The Lady Eagles responded with two Roller field goals, including a layup after a steal, and a basket off of an offensive rebound by White to pull within 17-12 at halftime.

Purdy continued the momentum into the third period, holding the Lady Tigers to one field goal in the third quarter as the Lady Eagles chipped away at the one-time 11-point Bentonville advantage.

Purdy tied the score at 17 on a layup by White with 3:46 to go in the third quarter, then the Lady Eagles took a 20-19 on a three-pointer by Roller two minutes later.

Purdy held its largest lead of the game, 26-21, on a three-pointer by Roller as the buzzer sounded at the end of the third quarter. But Roller's two free throws with 2:10 remaining in the game were Purdy's only points the rest of the way.

Roller, who had 4 points in the first half, scored 10 of Purdy's 16 points in the second half and led the Lady Eagles with 14. Senior center Sandmann led Bentonville with 12 points.

"We got them to play our style most of the game, but we had some turnovers, especially in the fourth quarter," Young said. "They had two players on Addy, and we needed somebody else to step up. It's a tough game to swallow, but we need to keep our heads high because it's really going to help us come March."

Purdy vs. Carthage

A huge fourth quarter by the Purdy Lady Eagles secured a 56-51 victory over Carthage in the Neosho Holiday Tournament and sent Purdy into the semi-finals on Wednesday.

Trailing 43-37 after three quarters of play, Purdy scored 7 points to open the period and take a 44-43 lead with 6:33 remaining in the game. The Lady Tigers responded with a quick basket to briefly reclaim the lead, but Purdy answered with a basket by Katie Hughes and Roller to take the lead for good.

Roller scored 34 points in the game, 15 of which came in the final period. Roller was also clutch at the free throw line, hitting 16 of 18 at the charity stripe.

"Roller is Roller," said Young. "Addy is a smart player and after playing sluggishly in the first half, she knew what had to be done in the second half to help us win."

Also scoring for Purdy were: White, 8 points; Rachael Neill, 7 points; Hughes, 5 points; and Krystin Cornman, 2 points.

Purdy vs. Cassville

The Purdy Lady Eagles picked up a solid 54-38 victory over Cassville to open play in the Neosho Holiday Tournament last Tuesday.

Purdy out-rebounded Cassville 32 to 18, and Roller recorded a double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds.

The Lady Eagles led 17-13 at the end of the first quarter and used a 14-2 run to help open a 35-22 lead at halftime.

Purdy relied on speed and a pesky presence to harass the Lady Wildcats all evening and force 18 Cassville turnovers.

The Lady Eagles extended the advantage to 50-31 at the end of the third quarter.

Cassville was led in scoring by Emily Speakman with 20 points. Jaime Everett added 9 points.

Scoring for Purdy were: Roller, 21 points; White, 14 points; Hughes, 6 points; Taylor Moller, 5 points; Neill and Cornman, 3 points each; and Billie House, 2 points.

The Lady Eagles will be in action on Friday at Pierce City. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m.

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