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Purcell Basketball

Purcell girls open with win

Dragons head to Madill for tournament this weekend

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Led by Hadleigh Harp’s 11 points, Purcell raced past Lindsay, 66-47, to begin the 2023-24 hard court season.

The game was Lindsay’s second of the season but Purcell’s first.

The first game jitters were aided by a 15-3 opening quarter by the Dragons to bust the game wide open from the outset.

Hannah Whitaker and Alyssa Thompson both had nine points in the runaway victory.

“The first game jitters were on display in the early portion of the game,” head coach Toney Cooper said. “Once we settled in we were able to get some easy buckets off our press and solid points in transition.

“Hadleigh played amazing on both ends,” the coach said. “Tinley Winters and Ella Resendiz were dominant on the board. We got contributions from everyone. It was a great way to start the season.”

Coach Roger Raper’s Dragons dropped a close 42-41 contest at the hands of the Leopards with Kylen DeFreeze and Kobe Freeman leading the scoring with 13 points each.

The Dragons built an eight point lead at intermission but were out-scored 26-17 in the second half.

“We were obviously disappointed in the way we played at Lindsay,” Raper said. “Both teams are very young and inexperienced.

“It helped Lindsay already having pared a game prior to playing us. The first game jitters are real and it was obvious we were struggling with them on Friday,” he confirmed.

On the defensive end of the court the Dragons played well enough to win holding them to 42 points.

“We struggled shooting the ball and that was the result of not being patient on that end of the court.

“We had way too many quick shots and several missed easy opportunities,” the coach continued. “It’s hard to win a game when you only shoot 23 percent from two point range. Most of those were within five feet of the basket.

“We also need to take care of the ball much better. This team is resilient and I believe they will go to work to correct our mistakes,” he said.

Raper said being a young team can’t be an excuse.

“We have to step up and be ready to go each game,” he said.

The Dragons are looking forward to heading to Madill for their tournament and looking to defend the title they won down there last year.

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