Both the Miller girls and boys captured basketball district championships this past weekend. The Lady Cardinals won the first girls district basketball title in Miller school history with a 77-62 decision over the Purdy Lady Eagles on Friday, March 6 at Purdy. The next night the boys cardinals trimmed Marionville, 48-45, for the title.
Class 2A District 10 Girls
After toasting Marionville with a 27 point first-quarter barrage on Monday, the Purdy Lady Eagles struggled early against Wheaton before posting a 48-37 win in the second round of Class 2 District 10 play at Purdy on Wednesday, March 4.
Purdy boosters were concerned about which Purdy team would show up to play top-seeded Miller in the Friday night finals: the scoring behemoth that overpowered the Comets or the flirting-with-elimination crew that barely nipped Wheaton.
As it turned out, their greatest concern should have been whether or not Hannah Wilkerson boarded the Miller team bus.
Wilkerson scored 38 points to lead the Cardinals past Purdy. Her district tournament performance was simply amazing, and her team was never really threatened as they marched through Greenfield, College Heights and Purdy to the title.
Purdy put up a strong fight on their home court. Trailing only 32-26 at half, the Lady Eagles stumbled in the third quarter. While Wilkerson scored only a pedestrian 6 points in the frame, teammates Samantha Hendrickson and Betsy Epps benefited from the defensive focus on Wilkerson. Hendrickson scored 8 and Epps 7 points in the pivotal period. Miller emerged from the third quarter with a 58-40 lead.
Purdy slashed the lead to 10 on a pair of Shelby White free throws with 3:50 left in the game, but the Lady Eagles could not pare the lead down to single digits in the late going. After a scoring spurt by Miller, Addy Roller's baseline jumper at 2:30 cut the lead back down to 12 at 70-58, but that was as close as Purdy would get.
Purdy played the game by the book, trying to trade threes for free throws, but instead the Miller lead grew. Coach Kelly George called off the desperation tactics in the final half minute, and Miller had the win, 77-62.
Besides Wilkerson's 38 points, Miller received strong performances from Hendrickson with 19 points, and Epps with 10.
Roller topped the Purdy scoring with 22 points. White tallied 20, and Audrey Patton scored 14 for the Lady Eagles.
Miller will now face undefeated Sparta at Willard at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Class 2A District 10 Boys
Marionville's Comets couldn't contain the pair of "Jacks," Justin and Derek, of Miller, and fell to the Cardinals on Saturday.
In the early going the Comets had a slight advantage, taking an 11-8 first quarter lead. But Miller came back in the second stanza to outpoint Marionville for a 29-27 lead, and the Comets could not quite come back.
Offense came at a premium in the second half, but Miller still maintained control by outscoring the Comets 19-18.
Justin Jack led the Miller offensive effort with 19 points. Derek Jack chipped in with 12 points.
Brandon Verfurth, as usual this season, was the main force for Marionville with 21 points. Ryan Combs added 10 points.
The Cardinals will now take on Clever at Willard at 6 p.m. Wednesday.