Fresh off their district championship, the Purdy Lady Eagles look to take the next step in their playoff journey.
Standing in Purdy's way are the Crane Lady Pirates
"Crane is a quick team that likes to get up and down the floor," said Purdy Head Coach Grant Young. "It could make for a high scoring game. We are going to have to box out on the block and get back on defense."
The Lady Pirates have won three district titles in the last four years, were ranked as high as seventh in the state this year and reached the Missouri Class 2, Final Four in 2008.
Crane is a seasoned team that starts four seniors and one sophomore.
"I am so proud of this team," said Crane Head Coach Jeremy Mullins. "These young ladies have put in countless hours of practice. Winning our district has meant a lot to our fans, community and to these girls. We still have work to do."
The Lady Pirates find few weaknesses when they study Purdy.
"Purdy is a solid, well rounded and athletic team," said Mullins. "They have three All-State players on their squad in my opinion. (Audrey) Patton and (Shelby) White beat you up inside, and (Addy) Roller can hurt you from anywhere on the court. I told our girls that we have to play a perfect game. We have to play hard for all 32 minutes. If we play only 31:59, we will lose."
Purdy is preparing for a quick pace assault from the Lady Pirates.
|"They like to shoot 3-pointers," said Young. "We have to close on their shooters and not leave them open. We have to keep them from getting long rebounds and extending their possessions.||"The first four minutes of the game will be key," added Young. "We have to establish the tone and force Crane to play our style of basketball."|
Nervousness is not a big concern for the Lady Eagles.
"We were able to channel our nerves before the Liberal game," said Young. "It helped us jump out to a 21-4 lead. We'll be ready. Our girls know if we lose that's it for our season. We have played a tough schedule this season, and it has prepared us for these types of games."
Tonight's sectional playoff game is set to tipoff at 7:45 p.m. in Republic.