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Dragons trap Wolves twice

Both boys, girls close out pre-holiday season with wins


Purcell closed out the pre-holiday portion of their 2022-23 season in fine fashion last Friday night at Davis with both the girls and boys posting victories.

The No. 2 ranked Dragons ran their record to a perfect 6-0 with a 65-29 dismantling of the Wolves.

“That was a great start for our team,” head coach Roger Raper said of the 6-0 start.

Hayden Ice led a trio of double figure scoring players with 15 points followed by Malachi Evans with 12 and Kylen DeFreeze with 11.

Raper had seven other players figure into the scoring.

Purcell jumped on the Wolves early leading 13-4 after the first quarter and 28 to 11 at halftime.

The Dragons poured it on in the second half out-scoring the Wolves 37-18, including 25 points in the final period.

“I was really proud of how we finished,” Raper said. “We were focused and played unselfishly the whole night.

“We has solid play from Malachi Evans, Hayden Ice, Lincoln Eubank and Kylen DeFreeze. They all had really nice games.

“Eubank had some really nice passes and DeFreeze scored with the strength of his game, the midrange jump shot,” the coach said.

Evans and Ice controlled the game from their point guard and post area respectively.

“We have lots of room for improvement as we have only had a full roster in two of our six games,” Raper said. “Overall, I am very proud of our guys.”

Coach Toney Cooper’s Dragons were a little slow out of the gate finding themselves down 9-4 at the end of the opening quarter.

But, they found their groove in the second frame and took a one-point lead into the halftime locker room, 23-22.

Led by Kenna Esparza’s 14 points, Purcell iced the game away in the final stanza, 23-15 to post the 52-43 victory.

Cooper’s club is 5-1 heading into the Christmas break.

“I thought we started out very sluggish,” Cooper said. “We knew going in that Davis, while young, are a very disciplined team offensively. So, credit them for coming out and playing very well.

“I was happy with our efforts offensively both in the second and fourth quarters,” Cooper continued. “Hannah Whitaker hit some big shots in the third and fourth quarters, all momentum changers. I am extremely proud of her.

“When we needed to make stops we did. I’m happy for the team as they wanted to close out the first half of the season with a win.

“I do not mind wins like these as they are growth opportunities for us. Learning how to play through adversities and come out successful will play dividends for us going forward. I love the fight in our team,” Cooper confirmed.


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