The Purdy Lady Eagles continue their march toward a state title. On Saturday, Purdy will face the eighth ranked Fordland Lady Eagles in Rogersville. Tipoff is set for 2:45 p.m.
"Fordland is a good team," said Purdy Head Coach Grant Young. "When you reach this stage of the season, every team is a good team. They are well rounded and match up well with us. Fordland can post up with three players that are listed at six foot and they can shoot the three-ball."
|Fordland brings a 26-3 record into the contest. Their three losses were to Conway, Seymour and Walnut Grove.||Success is something Fordland has become accustom to. They have won at least 19 games in the last three seasons.|
"We have had a good run this season," said Fordland Head Coach Kevin McDaris. "Having four returning starters, we felt coming into this season it could be a special team."
Fordland started the 2011 campaign winning its first 15 games, the Walnut Grove Holiday Classic and the Sparta Tournament.
"We like to play an uptempo style," said McDaris. "We won't pressure fullcourt, but we want to turn up the heat in the halfcourt. We try to run in the open court but aren't afraid to be deliberate on the offensive end and limit opponent's possessions."
"Purdy is a well-rounded program," continued McDaris, "They can hurt you in so many ways. Their team is geared to stop you on the defense. The key for us is to find a mismatch and exploit it. All year long we have been able to find our opponent's weakness and take advantage. When we can hit our outside shots, we are a very deadly team."
Purdy wants to contain Fordland and force them to run the court.
"We missed some easy shots against Crane," said Young. "We have to be mentally tough and focus on our offensive execution. I told the girls that we have to learn to finish our shots even if there is contact. The officials aren't always going to bail you out by calling a foul. We have to settle in to a flow and rhythm and play as a team."
For Fordland, the keys to the game are simple.
"Three things have to happen for us to win," said McDaris. "First, we must control the boards. Second, we must hit our shots when we are open. Third, execute on the offensive end."
Purdy has a similar plan.
"We have to stop their big post players inside," said Young. "Next, we have to get out on their outside shooters, limit them to a one-shot possession. We have to force them to play our game at our pace on our terms. Finally, we have to have execution with energy, come out and attack and not let up."