The Purdy Lady Eagles (24-5) open the Class 2 basketball sectional playoff round against a youthful and excited Marionville Lady Comets (19-10) program tonight in Republic.
The Lady Comets upset the top-ranked Sparta Lady Trojans 63-49 in the Class 2, District 11 championship on Thursday and are looking to unseat the reigning Class 2 state champion in the sectionals.
"At this stage of the season, the games don't get any easier," said Marionville coach Ted Young. "We are a young team led by two freshmen, and we want to enjoy as much of this season as possible."
The Lady Comets are led by freshman Josie Young, who averages 20 points and six rebounds per game, and Jaycie Dishman, who averages 14 points and six rebounds per game.
"These girls key our offense," said Young. "We have to be able to move the ball and get our shooters open looks."
Purdy looks to take another step in defending its state title. The Lady Eagles survived a double overtime thriller against Liberal with a 47-43 victory in the Class 2, District 12 title game.
"We know we have a target on our backs," said Young. "We can't get caught up thinking about the next game until we take care of this game. It is one game at a time."
The Lady Comets play a man-to-man defensive style that the Lady Eagles must attack.
"We have to be patient and run our offense," said Young. "We have to get Addy (Roller) open looks and secure the boards."
Projected starting lineups for the Lady Comets are: Young, freshman; Dishman, freshman; Amy Hicks, junior; Whitney Wright, sophomore; and Bailie Stine, freshman.
Purdy's projected starters are: Kristyn Cornman, senior; Addy Roller, senior; Rachael Neill, senior; Mattie White, junior; and Katie Hughes, junior.
Roller, who is shooting 43 percent from 3-point range (113 of 262), is averaging 27 points and 5.6 assists per game. She's shooting 89 percent from the foul line.
White is adding averages of 9.2 points and nine rebounds per game. Neill is averaging 7.7 points and Hughes five rebounds per game.
The Purdy-Marionville winner will face Crocker or Fordland at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Rogersville in a quarterfinal game.
Tipoff for tonight's contest is set for 6 p.m.