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Dragons bow out at Area

Both boys and girls


Purcell’s 21-game winning streak came to a screeching halt in the Area Tournament at Enid last weekend.

With foul trouble plaguing the Dragons in the second half, Washington avenged two regular season losses at the hands of Purcell and pinned a 51-36 loss to snap the streak last Friday night

Postman Hayden Ice was limited due to three fouls and Washington took full advantage. Nate Willis was also in foul trouble, carrying three as well.

Malachi Evans was the only Dragon in double digits scoring with 16.

The Dragons had to turn around and play CCS on Saturday night and missed a shot at the end to lose by one, 49-48 ending their season. The Dragons actually got the rebound and put a shot back up for the win but the shot was batted away.

Evans cut the strings for 16 and Willis added 15 in that contest.

Purcell finished the season 22-5.

“We had a great season and have plenty to be proud of,” head coach Roger Raper said. “Unfortunately though, we did not make the State Tournament. We are disappointed we didn’t finish out playing our best but we never gave up.

“In the Washington game we got into some foul trouble with Hayden Ice playing a very limited amount of minutes. We really struggle scoring without him in the game.

“Against Community Christian we played a team that may have played the best game of their season and still had a couple of shots to take the lead in the closing seconds. We just came up a point short.”

Purcell went 14-0 in Canadian Valley Conference play and two teams in the conference are headed to State.

“We played 10 games against teams in the State Tournament and went 8-2,” Raper continued. “Unfortunately, it was the last two that we lost.”

The coach praised the play of senior Nate Willis.

“He played two really good games in the Area and was a huge part of our success this season.

“We have several pieces back for next season and will need to continue the development of other young kids,” the coach said.

“We will have another goal next year to not only make it to State but compete when we get there,” Raper said.

The coach had a special word of appreciation to all the fan and student body support this season.

“The support was incredible and we really appreciated you all being there,” he said.

Academic State Champions

Purcell won the 3A Boys Academic State Championship this season.

“That is something we are extremely proud of,” Raper said. “Our student athletes and teachers do a fantastic job,” he praised.

Coach David Sikes’ Dragons closed out the season at 16-10 after losing in the Regional Tournament finals to Luther, 62-50 and capping the season with a first round consolation bracket loss to Alva in the Area Tournament, 38-28.

KK Eck led the Dragon scoring in the Luther contest with 12 with Kenna Esparza right on her heels with 11.

“We turned the ball over way too much against Luther and didn’t start the game the way we wanted,” Sikes said.

“But we crawled our way back in the game by halftime,” Sikes said with Purcell trailing by one at 22-21.

“We had a slow start to the second half and never could overcome it. I hope we can grow from that game.

The Dragons came out icy cold in the Alva game scoring only two points. They had 10 by halftime but only put in two more in the third period.

“Against Alva our slow starts continued to hurt us. We fought our way back but had trouble scoring,” Sikes said.

Hadleigh Harp was the high scorer for the Dragons in the Alva game with eight.

“I’m proud of our season. We had a lot of success for a young group. Our older players also learned from this run in the playoffs.

“We lost many games this season simply because we missed too many easy shots. We turned teams over an average of 24 times per game. That’s huge and we need to be better at capitalizing on those extra possessions.

“Our rebounding was much improved down the stretch which is something I hope we build on going into next season,” Sikes concluded.

Lincoln Eubank hit a buzzer beating trey to lift Purcell to a 47-44 victory in the weather-delayed Regional finals Tuesday night at Meeker over Sequoyah-Claremore.

Eubank, Evans and Ice all finished in double figures for Purcell in the victory that hiked the Dragons’ record to 22-3 on the season.

Evans led the Dragons and all scorers in the game with 19 points followed by Eubank with 13 and Ice with a dozen.

Nate Willis, who finished with 10 assists, got the biggest one with 2.4 seconds left in regulation when Purcell and Sequoyah-Claremore were deadlocked at 44 apiece.

“We had a play drawn up,” head coach Roger Raper said. “Nate passed to Lincoln who found an open spot in the opposite corner and knocked down the winning shot as time expired.


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