Morning Sun
  • Pittsburg boys, girls sweep Parsons

  • Judging by the score at the end of the first quarter as well as the final, it would be easy for one to assume the Pittsburg Purple Dragons coasted to an easy victory.

    That is, if you didn’t witness the second quarter.

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  • Judging by the score at the end of the first quarter as well as the final, it would be easy for one to assume the Pittsburg Purple Dragons coasted to an easy victory.
    That is, if you didn’t witness the second quarter.
    Playing in a Southeast Kansas League showdown with the Parsons Vikings, the Purple Dragons took care of business, winning 49-37 and improving their record to 9-6.
    Pittsburg sprinted quickly out of the gate to take a 16-5 lead at the end of the first and was appearing to have an easy night. But a strong second quarter in which the Vikings outplayed their opponent saw the Purple Dragons stumbled into the locker room with only a 23-21 halftime lead.
    Head coach Kiley Roelfs said it was just a matter of Parsons having everything go their way in the second.
    “I thought it was pretty evident,” Roelfs said in his post game interview with 99.1 FM. “But in that second quarter, with the fact that they got every loose ball. But besides that they got every loose ball and anything that there was that we had, they got it in the second quarter.”
    Pittsburg had scored nine points before a field goal by Cedric Taylor finally put the Vikings on the board.
    A Logan Dickinson 3-pointer cut the Purple Dragons’ lead to two. Dickinson was the Vikings’ leading scorer with nine points while Craig Beachner had eight.
    Suddenly, with their 11-point lead evaporated, the Purple Dragons soon realized that they were going to have to work even more for this win.
    “I thought we took our foot off the gas,” Roelffs said. “We played well there early on and we kind of relaxed and thought it was going to be an easy night. We talked about that at halftime and I thought our guys really responded well after halftime and we came out and reestablished ourselves in the second half.”
    Indeed, the Purple Dragons did respond in the third quarter.
    The Purple Dragons wasted no time in racing to a nine-point lead, early in the third while the defense only allowed two points from the Vikings in the entire quarter. It was a 12-point advantage for the Purple Dragons.
    The Vikings came out of their slump by scoring 14 points in the fourth but it wasn’t enough to come back with Pittsburg matching the Vikings’ point total in the final quarter.
    After being out-rebounded in the second by the Vikings, the Purple Dragons were able to completely stop the Vikings from getting anything off the boards as Roelffs said they were able turn up the heat.
     “It was just playing harder and when you play harder you get the rebounds,” Roellfs said. “At the end of the third quarter, there weren’t any rebounds by a white shirt. It was all purple and we were getting every glass. It was a sign of us getting back into.”
    Page 2 of 3 - The Purple Dragons were led by FeDor Lomax with 15 points. Stefon Rich had 14 and Kaleb Owens put up eight points.
    “We did a good job of finishing with that lead,” Roellfs said. “It always feels good to get a win on the road.”
    Speaking of road, the Purple Dragons will remain on the road this week for their next game.
    They will face the Independence Bulldogs in another Southeast Kansas League contest.
    Roelffs mentioned that one of the ingredients for success this week will to have every one healthy and to avoid flu season in order to get prepared.
    “We need to make sure we stay healthy and we’ll go back and look at the video,” Roellfs said. “We’ve got to play our basketball and when we do that, we’re pretty tough to deal with. We’ll get on the practice floor and get ready.”
    Pittsburg girls 51, Parsons 38
    The Pittsburg Purple Dragons are starting to look like their old selves again. The old selves that was ranked in the top 10 in the state before going on a four-game skid.
    But after consecutive victories over Columbus and now Parsons, the Pittsburg girls have appeared to right the ship.
    The Purple Dragons cruised to a 51-38 victory over the Parsons Vikings, improving their record to 10-5. Lizzy Willis was the leading scorer with 18 points total.
    “I think we did a good job of communicating on the floor,” said head coach Kim Peterson-O’Bray in her post-game interview with 99.1 FM. “ Lizzy did a good job of creating chances for herself. Also we had a lot of assists with people looking up the floor for long passes. Overall, it was good team effort.”
    The Purple Dragons’ game plan was to come in and pound the ball inside and they achieved that to near perfection.
    “We talked about throwing it to the post and inside and as far as inside action goes part of our game plan was attack,” Peterson-O’Bray said. “We had to be more offensive minded and aggressive.”
    The game got off to a low scoring affair with Pittsburg barely in front 6-5. The Purple Dragons pulled ahead even more with a pair of free throws by Mercedes Vogel and another field goal in the final 18 seconds of the first saw Pittsburg ahead by seven.
    Willis hit back-to-back jumpers in the second quarter to build a 20-12 lead. She had 10 points in the first half.
    The Purple Dragons went on fire in the third quarter, putting up 21 points alone.
    Though, the Vikings improved on their scoring in the second half, Pittsburg kept them in check by using a strong post defense.
    “I thought we did a good job of keeping a half run defense and deny them,” Peterson-O’Bray said. “They could not get much going. Overall I thought we did a good job with our post defense.”
    Page 3 of 3 - Sitting with a 20-point lead at the end of the third, the Purple Dragons were on cruise control the rest of the way. A 3-pointer came from Shay Kelly of Parsons off a steal, which was the first outside shot of the night from either team.
    The Purple Dragons will now turn their attention to Independence on another road game. Pittsburg came away victorious in their first meeting with Independence back in December but Peterson-O’Bray says her team needs to be ready to play in what could be another close contest.
    “I know the coach at Independence and he’s going to be gunning for us,” Peterson-O’Bray said. “I know those girls are going to be hungry for a win and we’ve got to be prepared to get a win on Friday to go into their place.”
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