Purvis pulls away from Sumrall to clinch playoff spot

BROOKLYN – Last Friday, the Sumrall Bobcats ended the regular season with a big win over the Tornadoes in Purvis. On Tuesday when it really mattered, the Tornadoes got revenge in the district tournament.

Purvis used big second and fourth quarters to pull away from Sumrall in a 64-44 win that clinched a playoff spot for Purvis and ended Sumrall’s season.

***Click for a PHOTO GALLERY from Matt Bush.***

“I’m not going to say that we came in the game overconfident, by any stretch of the imagination,” Purvis head coach Todd Kimble said of last Friday’s loss to Sumrall. “I thought they played really well, and I think the win was because of what they did and not what we did. I give them all the credit in the world for that.”

In Tuesday’s win-or-go-home matchup, the Bobcats looked like they picked up where they left off Friday night with a quick 12-9 lead after the first quarter. That’s when Kimble made some adjustments to his defense.

“We changed the defense up and we were going from one to the next,” Kimble said. “I thought that gave them some problems. What we were doing was trying to put their best players in a situation where every time they caught it we had two guys around them.”

The turnovers caused by the stingy defense created opportunities for the Tornado offense, which led to a 16-0 run to close out the first half. Junior Dakota Smith was the beneficiary of the run, too. He scored eight points in the second quarter, and sophomore Matthew Ryals added six.

Ryals finished with a game-high 18 points in the contest.

“Every thing that we do is play four guards around the big guy, and if he doesn’t get the basketball, then it hurts what we do,” Kimble said. “Our plan is, get him the ball and hope they double team him so he can kick it back out and we can play from the perimeter. I thought we did a pretty good job of that.”

In the second half, Sumrall battled back to cut the deficit to 46-40. Sumrall head coach David Bush said his team attacked the basket better in the final two quarters, because Purvis found itself in foul trouble.

While Bush thought his team missed some chances, sophomore Dannis Jackson recorded 13 of his 16 points in the second half.

“We missed three layups right there in a row,” Bush said. “We threw out of the trap and missed a few bunnies that would have made it a two-point game or even have tied it. I think that took some of the air out.”

The Tornadoes finished the fourth quarter with an 18-4 run, and they saw four players reach double figures in scoring. Joining Ryals with 10-plus points was Smith with 16 points, CJ Bolar added 13 and Damon Morgan finished with 11.

“Especially in high school, when you have four guys in double figures, that makes everything a whole lot easier,” Kimble said. “CJ is a guy who I’m playing at point guard, and that’s out of position, so a lot of times he doesn’t get the looks, but he’s doing what he’s supposed to.”

Purvis will play Poplarville at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday in the semifinals at FCAHS.