Hannah Wilkerson has beaten Purdy for the last time. After watching the Missouri career-scoring leader carry her Lady Cardinals to the Class 1 District 10 girls basketball championship over their Lady Eagles for the second straight year, the Purdy community may well attend the Miller graduation ceremonies en masse next spring to make sure Wilkerson gets her diploma.
|Miller defeated Purdy 62-60 in overtime at Sarcoxie on Friday night and avenged an earlier overtime loss to Purdy during the regular season. Purdy was considered the more complete team going into the district final, but Wilkerson put all her skills on display as the Lady Cards pulled out the nailbiter.|
|After scoring 38 on Purdy in last year's district championship tilt, Wilkerson went off for 43 in Friday night's overtime thriller.|
|No other area player has the ability to incite an opposing team, coaches and fans like Wilkerson. Her bruising style of play, deadly long-range accuracy and ferocious rebounding make her feared on the court. Her game includes practiced and deliberate leans and penetrations, hesitation on layups designed to draw contact and the ability to punish the other team with free throw opportunities: all weapons in an arsenal that most boys do not possess. In the girls game, she is a one-man army, a Chuck Norris in short pants.|
|Miller took a quick 19-11 lead by the end of the first quarter against Purdy. Even though the Lady Eagles would storm back to a 30-26 halftime lead, there were already ominous signs of trouble.|
Prize center Audrey Patton collected her third foul before halftime, and her teammates were whistled too often as well. By game's end, there would be more Lady Eagles with four fouls than with double-digit scoring totals.
|Purdy inched the lead up to 5 at the last break, 46-41, but Willkerson led Miller to a late 54-51 advantage. Standing 24-feet from the rim, Addy Roller knocked down a tying trey for Purdy at the end to send the game into overtime.|
|In their previous OT meeting, Purdy owned the extra frame in taking the 87-77 victory. In this one, they couldn't get the ball out of Wilkerson's hands. Then with the game on the line, Wilkerson blocked Roller's trey-attempt at the buzzer.|
|Purdy ends an outstanding season at 23-5, improving from last year's 20-7 record. But the elusive district championship will have to wait another year. Purdy will again be the district favorite next season, and unless Missouri State falls down to the Class 2 high school level, they will never face Hannah Wilkerson again.|
|Miller improves to 25-4 and will play against Sparta at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Republic. Sparta, the defending state champions in Class 2, eliminated Miller 75-68 in their sectional game last year.|
|Purdy scorers: Shelby White 20; Brooke Swadley 15; Addy Roller 14; Audrey Patton 8; and Brittany Mareth 3.|
|Miller scorers: Hannah Wilkerson 43; Nicole Adams 10; Betsy Epps 6; and Kaitlin Johnson 3.|