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Dragons rolling along

Purcell has won its last 5 and 10 of the last 11


Purcell won all three of its basketball games last week including a makeup game with Washington.

After Monday’s Marlow victory, the Dragons have won their last five and 10 out of the last 11.

Coach Roger Raper’s Dragons were on the road at Davis, Washington and Pauls Valley.

Led by Malachi Evans’ 20 points, Purcell eased past Davis, 67-46. Joining the junior in double figures were Hayden Ice with 16 and Nate Willis with 10.

Evans led the scoring with 19 in the Washington victory. Ice finished with 15 and Lincoln Eubank chipped in a baker’s dozen.

Evans led the scoring parade in the Pauls Valley victory with 18. Ice joined him in double digits with 10.

“Last week was an incredible week for us as a team after getting positive news from the OSSAA on two of our players,” Raper said.

“We also got an injured player back and it finally put us at a full strength.

“With the last week being the final week of rankings it was so important for us to finish strong,” the coach said.

With three road games at Davis, Washington and Pauls Valley it wasn’t going to be a simple task.

“The resiliency of this squad has been unbelievable throughout the season,” he said.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Dragons with No. 4 Marlow coming to town Monday for a makeup game, a road trip to Bridge Creek Tuesday, homecoming on Friday against Lexington and on Saturday afternoon a date with Class A No. 2 Garber. Tip off for the Garber game is set for 4:30 with a halftime honoring of former Dragon and Gold Medalist Lester Lane.

His wife Jan Lane Warner will be at The Reimer Center for the ceremony.

“We hope to see our great fans come out and support us as they have all season. We are very grateful for their support,” Raper concluded.

After dispatching No. 4 ranked Marlow Monday the Dragons took 13-3 record to Bridge Creek Tuesday.

Nate Willis led the Dragons against the powerful Outlaws with 18 points. He was joined in double figures by Lincoln Eubank who sank 14 including four shots from downtown.

Coach David Sikes’ Dragons posted victories over both Davis and Pauls Valley having played Washington when the game was scheduled back on January 18.

Kenna Esparza poured in 21 points in the 33-27 victory over Davis. KK Eck finished with a team-high 10 points in the 50-44 victory over Pauls Valley.

“We continue to start games slow but I feel like we are really figuring out how to manage games. We are learning how to control games with a late lead,” Sikes said.

“Esparza shot the ball well last week. We are getting outstanding defensive play out of Hadleigh Harp.

“She was the Big D this past week shutting down both Davis and Pauls Valley’s best player. My two juniors KK Eck and Lauren Holmes played lights out against Pauls Valley,” he said.

Holmes grabbed 14 rebounds to go with her eight points. Eck had a big block in the game at the end of overtime.

The duo combined for a 10-10 performance at the line.

“That’s huge in a tight game,” Sikes confirmed. “I see this team growing with every game,” he said.

Monday night Purcell hosted Marlow in a makeup encounter and came up just short in a 45-41 contest.

Eck was deadly at the charity stripe canning 6-8 attempts. She led the Dragons with 13 points.

Esparza drained four treys and finished with a dozen points in the game.

“We finally started a game off fast,” Sikes said. “We had a tough third quarter and couldn’t overcome it. We are continuing to improve in a lot of areas but still have a lot more areas to improve on.

“This is a young team and with every game they get better and the game slows down for them,” he said.

Sikes’ club took a 10-6 record into Tuesday’s game at Bridge Creek.

The girls are set to tip off Saturday at 3 p.m. against Garber.


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