In their final regular season game, the Purdy Eagles were within an eyelash of suffering one of the biggest upsets of the year. But Verona missed the potentially tying trey at the buzzer, and Purdy escaped with a 51-48 Ozark 7 home win on Friday night.
|The Eagles had every excuse for overlooking this game, and the Purdy boys just didn't have that early zip you expect from a Chris Kennedy-coached ballclub.|
|But the lethargy disappeared quickly when Verona took a 3-2 lead and then hustled to trail by only 11-10 midway through the first quarter. Devon Bennett and Landon Terry hit back-to-back treys for the Eagles, and the home team led 14-10.|
|Larry Patterson penetrated and scored just seconds later to pull the Wildcats back within 14-12. Then Terry connected again from long range for Purdy, and Verona's Cody Ernsberger sank a pair of freebies to end the period.|
|While Purdy led by 17-14 at the first break, the Eagles could not shake the Wildcats in the second frame of play. Ernsberger's three-point play tied the game at 17-17, before Purdy pushed to a 28-21 lead in the final 2:00 on Gavon Nelson's trey.|
But Verona's Seth Losack swished a long bomb just before the buzzer, and Purdy led by only 28-24 at intermission.
|The third quarter belonged to the Eagles. Terry opened the scoring with a trey, and the Eagles enjoyed an 11-2 run to reach 39-26 at the 1:32 mark. T.J. Farris popped in another trey, and Purdy led 42-31 at the final break.|
|But Brad Stewart's Wildcats fashioned a 6-0 run that spanned into the fourth quarter and trailed by only 42-34. Purdy's Farris hit a jumper from the top of the key for a 44-34 game, and then Verona tore to a 10-0 run, and Purdy led by only five at 44-39.|
|Verona pulled within a deuce three times in the final period but could never tie or lead. The big difference in the fourth came at the free-throw line. The Wildcats have had their share of troubles at the stripe this season, but the boys in purple shot 11 for 13 from the line in the final period against Purdy.|
|Purdy, on the other hand, missed six consecutive fourth-quarter foul shots before Cody Hall finally broke the string with just :07 on the clock.|
The Eagles owned a 51-48 margin after Hall's conversion, and Verona was forced to shoot the threeball. The offering fell short as the buzzer sounded, and Purdy owned the 51-48 victory.
Purdy scorers: Landon Terry 15; Devon Bennett 9; T.J. Farris 7; Cody Hall 7; Kevin Miller 6; Drew Williams 4; and Gavon Nelson 3.
Verona scorers: Seth Losack 13; Cody Ernsberger 10; Ascencion Estrada 8; Wesley Kissinger 7; Larry Patterson 6; and Clifford Williams 4.