PARSONS — An unsuccessful road trip for the Pittsburg High School basketball teams saw the Purple Dragons drop a pair of games to Parsons on Friday, as the girls’ team lost 53-51 before the boys fell 69-66.
LATE RALLY BY PURPLE DRAGONS COMES UP SHORT
The PHS girls’ team got off to slow start to begin the night, losing by two despite a late rally.
Pittsburg trailed by as many as 13 points in the early going of the second quarter, but pulled back to even the score at 34-all with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The freshman Madden Petty led the Purple Dragons’ comeback, scoring nine points in what was a 14-1 run to tie the score.
Parsons went on to regain the lead and ended the third quarter with a three-point advantage, but another 3-pointer by Petty to start the fourth tied the score at 38-38.
The Vikings matched it with a 3-pointer of their own, which sparked a 14-2 run to give them a 10-point lead with two minutes remaining in the contest.
PHS got back into the contest with five consecutive points coming from Abbie Casper, Kaydn Matlock and Petty to narrow the deficit to 51-46 with 60 seconds left in regulation.
Matlock managed to put up two more points before knocking down a 3-pointer to bring the Purple Dragons to within two points of Parsons with four seconds left, but it was too late, as the Vikings drained the clock to hang on for the win.
Petty had the hot hand for Pittsburg, scoring a team-high 25 points.
Matlock was also feeling it, contributing 13 points in the loss.
VIKINGS OVERCOME 20-POINT DEFICIT IN SECOND HALF
It was another heartbreaking loss for the Purple Dragons in the boys’ game, as they held a 20-point lead halfway through the third quarter, but couldn’t close out the win, losing 69-66.
The Purple Dragons trailed by three points with 15 seconds remaining in the contest and failed to convert on three shot attempts in the final possession en route to being tagged with the loss.
Parsons held a two-point lead after outscoring PHS 9-2 in the early going of the second quarter, but fell behind 33-23 at the end of the first half following 10 consecutive points by the Purple Dragons.
Marque English contributed five of Pittsburg’s 10 consecutive points, while Drew Roelfs and Gavyn Elkamil combined for the other five.
A pair of layups by Chase Curtis and Elkamil to begin the second half continued the Purple Dragons’ momentum and increased the lead to 37-23.
Pittsburg took its largest lead of the game at 48-28 thanks to eight consecutive points, ending on a layup by freshman Javon Grant.
The Vikings fought back to narrow the deficit to 54-42 after outscoring PHS 7-1 in the final two minutes of the third quarter.
Parsons continued rolling in the fourth quarter, going on a 17-3 run to take the lead at 59-57 with four minutes remaining in regulation.
Two free throws by Jerek Butcher ended the cold streak for the Purple Dragons before they regained the lead at 62-61 on a jumper by Elkamil with two minutes remaining.
The Vikings held a three-point advantage with 15 seconds remaining, but kept the Purple Dragons off the board in the final possession to hang on for the win.
English finished the game with a double-double, scoring 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Elkamil was second on the team in scoring with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
There’s no rest for the weary, as the Purple Dragons will be back at it on Saturday in Webb City with the girls tipping off at 11:30 a.m. before the boys at 2:30 p.m. start.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.