Cardinals fall to Purdy in district opener, ending season earlier than expected

Skylan Akins

Cardinal senior Alex Pennington drills a three in the district loss to Purdy. Pennington finished the game with a triad of three pointers contributing nine points.

The Miller Cardinals basketball season has come to an end after falling to the Purdy Eagles Monday night in Verona, 56-40.
Miller jumped out to an early lead behind a familiar ally; a hot stroke from three point range. Senior Alex Pennington and sophomore Jarod Lung each got one to fall in the opening quarter, but it was Verona transfer Owen Weiss that was lighting up his former home court, hitting a trio of threes in the opening quarter. Miller held on to a 20-12 lead after the first stanza.
Purdy rebounded with a run of their own and cut the deficit to 20-19 at about the midway point of the quarter. Purdy would conclude the run and took a a lead shortly after at 21-20. Miller was unable to overcome the brief deficit and went into the halftime break trailing 25-23.
Purdy kept the pressure going, extending the lead out to seven but Miller wasn’t done yet. Weiss started to make a living with mid-range floaters and tied the game at 35 going into the fourth. The shooting stroke of the Cardinals started to heat up to begin the fourth quarter as Alex Pennington got another three to go. The Cardinals got the difference down to just one with five minutes remaining but Purdy’s offense starting humming late, as the Eagles ran away with this one in the end 56-40.
“We were on fire in the first quarter and Owen (Weiss) was carrying us and Alex (Pennington) and Jarod (Lung) was hitting shots as well and then we got cold in the second quarter," said Miller coach Brandon Weiss. "Then we still had a chance in the third and we just seemed like we had them on the ropes and they were getting tired and then they went on a big run at the end. It stinks because if you think you’re going to lose that last game of the year you have an end game speech prepared and I didn’t have anything prepared so yeah it really stinks.”
The district loss ended the season for the Cardinals with a 10-16 record in coach Weiss’ first season at the helm, but it also ended the high school career for four seniors, Alex Pennington, Owen Pritchett, Garrett Stewart and Rolan Rinker.
“They laid a foundation for years to come. I looked at the juniors and said that they had huge shoes to fill. The seniors have done a great job and if you can take one thing from each of them, you would have a tremendous basketball player. They have led this team all year and hopefully their impact on the program will lead to a lot of wins for years to come,” Coach Weiss said of the senior class.
The future is bright for the Cardinals as they will bring back three starters off a season that showed a ton of growth for everyone within the program.


Lawrence County Record

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