Not a lot went right for Purdy in this game. Although nine players scored for the black shirts, none of the Eagles reached double digits in scoring. Cody Hall led the team with 9, while Devon Bennett and Drew Williams both scored 6.
Billings jumped to a 9-2 early lead but the Eagles sliced that to 9-8 with Hall scoring on an inbounds play with 3:37 on the clock. The Wildcats held a 14-8 advantage after one period, but Purdy fought back and only trailed 28-25 at halftime.
Billings opened an 11-point margin with a quarter-ending fast break layup by Essick, and the Wildcats led at the final break, 44-33. Then Billings blew the game open with a 12-1 run to start the last period.
Purdy scorers: Cody Hall, 9; Devon Bennett, 6; Drew Willliams, 6; Alex Haworth, 4; Glen Scott, 4; Garen Nelson, 4; Cameron Terry, 4; Keevin Walker, 2; and Austin Hancock, 2.
Billings scorers: Austin Essick, 29; Chad Yeokum, 15; Kaleb Harter, 6; Brady Chastain, 6; Nathan Blades, 4; and Connor Jenisch, 4.
The Trojans broke a 12-year drought and won their own Southwest Holiday Tournament on Thursday night, pummeling Wheaton in the final, 64-44. The Trojans, seeded fourth in this year's tournament, mowed down Pea Ridge (60-38), Billings (81-60), and Wheaton (64-44) to claim the championship.
East Newton defeated Cassville in the fifth-place game, 51-44, led by Tucker Anderson's 17 points.
Pea Ridge defeated Hollister in the seventh-place game, 71-63.
All Tournament team:
First team: Brady Chastain, Billings; Tucker Anderson, East Newton; Dakota Woodward, Pea Ridge; Tyler Ferguson, Southwest; and Sean Goostree, Wheaton.
Second Team: Nick Lytle, Hollister; Ricky Nichols, Cassville; Drew Williams, Purdy; Austin Essick, Billings; and Travis Hayworth, Southwest.