Jordan Stauffer took over in the 2nd half to lead Thomas Jefferson to a 66-40 Ozark 7 Conference win at Purdy on Tuesday, January 26. The 6-5 center for the Cavaliers scored 19 of his game-high 26 after halftime, turning a mere 7-point 3rd-quarter lead into a commanding 26-point victory over the host Eagles.
Purdy jumped to an early lead, only to see the Cavs rebound to take a 19-11 lead at the end of the 1st period. Stauffer scored 7 points in the period, and gunner Jay Powell sank a pair of treys to help establish the 8-point margin.
The Eagles played the visitors dead even in the 2nd quarter, with each team scoring 11 in the frame. Landon Terry scored 8 of his 10 1st-half points in the 2nd period to give Purdy a lift, and the Eagle defense was solid. TJ's talented Alex Oserowsky only managed one 1st-half basket.
Purdy had the ball and a chance to trim the lead in the final minute, but a turnover left the 30-22 score unchanged as the teams took the halftime break.
In the 2nd half, Stauffer flashed his All-Conference credentials, scoring at will against the Purdy interior. His 8 points in the first 4:01 of the 3rd quarter ignited a 15-point TJ lead at 40-25, with the last 2 points coming on a demoralizing two-handed flush.
Terry hit a trey in the first minute of the 3rd, and managed a layup shortly after Stauffer's dunk, but the Cavaliers successfully focused their defensive efforts on denying Purdy's main scorer. The Eagles only managed 9 points in each of the final two periods, while Thomas Jefferson scored 16 and 20 on their side of the scorer's book.
The Cavaliers improved to 12-1 on the season, and upped their conference record to 3-1. The only blemish against the team that many are picking to win state in Class 1 came from Ozark 7 foe, Southwest.
"Purdy is hard to play against," noted TJ's venerable coach, Cleo Elbert. "Coach Kennedy does a great job and always has them ready to play."
TJHS 19 11 16 20 66
Purdy 11 11 09 09 40
Purdy scorers: Landon Terry -- 16, Riley Veith -- 8, Cody Hall -- 6, Drew Williams -- 4, T.J. Farris -- 4, Kevin Miller -- 2.
TJHS scorers: Jordan Stauffer -- 26, Jay Powell -- 13, Alex Oserowsky -- 10, Zach Powell -- 9, Taylor Barton -- 8.