Stone’s shooting too much to overcome for Purvis in 49-31 lossBy ANDREW ABADIE,
The Lady Cats nailed nine 3-pointers to hand Purvis a 49-31 loss on Friday night.
The Lady Tornados opened the game with a 6-2 lead but quickly Stone found its rhythm with the three-ball. In the first quarter, Stone nailed four 3-pointers to take a 14-8 lead.
Purvis (20-4, 3-2) cut the deficit to 21-18 after scoring four points to finish the half. Notably, the Lady Tornados also held Stone’s leading scorer, Hayleigh Breland, to just four points at the half.
“I thought we were in good shape at halftime,” Purvis head coach Michael Thornton said. “We were down three against a very good Stone team. We had held their best player to four points and I felt good at halftime.”
However, Stone (18-4, 7-0) continued to find success with its shooting and scored three more 3-pointers in the third quarter. At the same time, Purvis’ offense lost momentum, as the Lady Cats outscored the Lady Tornados 17-3 with notably, Purvis three points all coming from free throws.
“The third quarter was a disaster,” Thornton said. “We went 0-for-10 from the field and were outscored 17-3. You just can have that many empty possessions against quality teams. Unfortunately, it’s been a trend for us recently of having poor shooting performances.
“I think another big difference in the game was Stone’s ball-handling as a team was much better than ours. Some of our limitations of handling the ball showed tonight.”
The third quarter broke the game open for Stone and ultimately sealed its win. Purvis did not make any 3-pointers on the night and at the same time, Breland scored 12 of her team-leading 16 points in the second half.
“Our inability to shoot the ball and a lack of scoring really hurt us tonight,” Thornton said. “I don’t know if it’s anything as more of an adjustment [by Stone in the second half] but we just did not get out there and cover in our defense. Then we had an opportunity. We had a few layups that we missed, they were contested, but when a team is shooting as well as Stone you have got to be able to make those. That was the difference in the game.”
The high point for Purvis was Jaelyn Bass’s performance as she led the Lady Tornados with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.
“Bass has really improved,” Thornton said. “I thought tonight she was our best player on the floor.
“A tremendous performance [by Bass] but I talked to our team afterward and thought that some of our key players did not play the way we need them to play in a big game.”
Purvis will travel to Greene County on Tuesday with tipoff set for 6 p.m.
“The message to the team is that we have a good team,” Thornton said. “We are in a very difficult district. We just have to bounce back on Tuesday.”
Stone 49, Purvis 31
Stone (18-4, 7-0) – Hayleigh Breland 4 7-9 16, Reina Hartfield 4 0-0 11, Yazmine Bradford 5 0-0 15, Lakeya Whittaker 0 0-2 0, Christian Fairley 1 0-0 2, Marie Moya 2 1-2 5. Field Goals: 18, Free Throws: 8-11, Total Points: 49.
Purvis (20-4, 3-2) – Jaelyn Bass 3 6-7 12, Bree Gray 1 0-0 2, Brianna Lowe 2 1-2 5, Elise Jackson 2 2-2 6, Karson Suire 3 0-1 6, Lillie Hale 0 0-0 0, Bethany Johnson 0 0-0 0. Field Goals: 11, Free Throws 9-12, Total Points 31.
Stone 14 7 17 11 – 49
Purvis 8 10 3 10 – 31
3-Pointers – Stone 10 (Bradford 5, Hartfield 3, Breland), Purvis 0. Total Fouls: Stone 14, Purvis 9. Fouled Out. None.