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District Champions x2

Girls and streaking boys head to Regional Tournament


Purcell’s girls and boys both neatly tucked away District Championships with wins over Christian Heritage Academy here Friday night.

The boys, who won their 12th straight game and 17th out of the last 18, pulled away in the third period after a close first half.

The Dragons led 36-31 heading into the locker room but fed off a 16-6 third quarter bulge to win handily.

Hayden Ice, who had 11 first quarter points, led the Dragon offense with 19 points.

Nate Willis and Malachi Evans both had a dozen and Lincoln Eubank, who knocked down three treys in the second quarter, finished in double figures with 11.

“CHA was a tough opponent,” head coach Roger Raper said. “We knew we would need to play well to win. We were fortunate to make some shots in the first half, a half that went back and forth.”

Raper said he was not pleased with the Dragons’ defensive efforts in the first half. Likewise, he wasn’t thrilled with the offense, either.

“We were making shots but it wasn’t necessarily out of any offensive rhythm.”

He said most of the time those shots don’t continue to go in.

Purcell turned up the defensive heat in the second half holding CHA to half of what they scored in the first two quarters.

“It was good to see us come back to what we hang our hat on each night,” he said. “Solid defense and execution on the offensive side from sharing the ball and making the defense play cover the whole court.”

Next up in the Regional Tournament is a date with Community Christian School, moved to Friday by the OSSAA due to pending winter weather, at Meeker at 8:30 p.m.

CCS is No. 14 in the state.

“They are well coached and a very strong team,” Raper said. “We will need to be focused on both ends. We will need to play well. They have threats both inside and out on the perimeter. It should be a great game.”

The girls, who knocked off CHA, 57-40, to claim the District Title, will also play CCS. They will tip off at 7 p.m. at Meeker Friday.

Friday games are being moved to Saturday and Saturday games will be played next Monday.

“We have a lot to prove against them,” head coach David Sikes said. “They beat us bad earlier in the year (66-44 in the Heart of Oklahoma Tournament). Now we are looking to make up for that loss.”

Senior Jaiden Avila went off against CHA in the district tournament last Friday night pouring in 20 points to lead the Dragons to a 57-40 victory.

Kenna Esparza joined her in double digits with 10.

The Dragons built a 27-20 half time advantage but erupted for 19 third quarter points while holding CHA to six.

In that quarter Esparza nailed two buckets from downtown and Lauren Holmes made all seven of her points including a trey.

“I see us doing things now that we were second guessing and hesitant to do early in the season and it’s making us better,” Sikes said.

“We played very well and were locked in and focused for the entire game,” the coach said. “We shot the ball well and when we do that we are tough to beat.”

The Dragons had 17 assists in the game and held their turnovers to only six.

“That’s impressive and hopefully we will build on that,” Sikes concluded.

The 10th ranked boys take a 20-3 record into the Regional Tournament while the No. 16 girls are 15-8.


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