By Chris Parker
Purdy girls basketball has a new head coach in Brandon Moore this season. Moore, who has 15 years of coaching experience, will be looking to help the Purdy girls basketball program bounce back from a seven win season last year. It was the first time in more than a decade that Purdy finished below .500.
Moore has a quality group of returning players led by Annabelle Bowman who earned all-conference honors as a sophomore. She see time at both guard positions.
“She is able to do many things on the court she can handle and shoot. She has a very high basketball IQ. She is tall has great length and can play great defense. She will be the motor that makes us run this year,” Moore said. “I have high expectations for her the main thing she has to do is to make her teammates better and play at a high level like she is capable of. She also has to set the tone at practice.”
She is joined by three returning classmates in Kinsley Mattingly, Breanna Perkins and Bayleigh Robbins.
Mattingly is a 5’8” forward.
“She (Mattingly) will have a big year because she is a hard match up. She is a post and is learning some moves and is very coachable. She can put the ball on the floor and shoot it from anywhere, but still can play with her back to the basket. She also has a nose for the ball when rebounding. She is a leader and will be a huge component to our success. She is also a crafty defender and is athletic enough to guard anyone. With her length and her athletic ability I see her accomplishing some things along with Annabelle,” Moore said.
Perkins is a 5’2” guard.
“(Perkins) will be a key role player for us she will be the other primary ball handler for us this year. She is fast and can shoot a little. She has a huge heart and attack with no fear of contact. She will play the role of our best defender for the opposing guards. Her biggest thing is confidence in her ability and I really think it will come around this year,” Moore said.
Robbins is a 5’4” guard.
“Bayleigh can do many things for us. She will play the other wing and is physical enough to play post if needed. She has some athletic ability and will be physical enough to rebound and block out. She needs to get confidence in her shot in which I think will come around and just play more to create a higher basketball IQ. I have confidence in her ability to be a good defender and I really think she will be a big help for us down the stretch and next year,” Moore said.
Sophomore Dally Craig and senior Kylie Wood are two new players to watch on the varsity level.
Craig is a 5’7” guard that hasn’t played since eighth grade due to injury.
“She is raw, but very athletic and long. She is to be a huge asset coming off the bench at the beginning of the season. She is learning game speed but is so athletic it looks easy for her. She is someone that has a very bright future ahead of her and will put in the work I have no doubt. She is very tough and will be our go-to when we really need a lock-down defender,” Moore said.
Wood is a 5’7” forward.
“(Wood) another player that has not been out in a while and will help us out a great deal this year. Her and Kinsley will man our post positions. She is an aggressive player and will not back down from no one. She also has the ability to be a student of the game because she is still learning and has been away from it for a while. She is learning to rebound and exactly what her job is. She is a great softball player but has bought in to the idea of being a basketball player this year and is willing to put in the work to make this season a success. I’m looking for good things this year from her this year and really wished I had her for another. She is going to help in the locker room because of her competitiveness and her not afraid attitude,” Moore said.
Purdy will present match-up problems for most teams they face this year.
“I think our biggest strength will be the ability to put other teams in match-up problems. Our post players can shoot around the perimeter so anyone that plays zone will have to come out on us. Then we will be able to use are athleticism to attack the rim. We can fluctuate positions and where people are even if we go eight deep, so it looks like we have depth. I really think there are going to be teams that will have a hard time trying to defend us,” Moore said.
Practice will be important for the growth of the Purdy girls basketball program this year.
“I want us to grow as individuals and members of a team that could exceed expectations. I really feel if this team buys in and creates a family atmosphere and pushes each other, barring injury, we can do amazing things. My expectations are to come in and work in practice to make us better. Practice is important. We have never all played together and we have to put in the time to be able to create something. We have some pieces and we need to build a foundation and be able to look towards the future. I feel like we can win the games we are supposed to and maybe surprise some on the way,” Moore said.
Purdy opens the season Dec. 2-7 at the Diamond Tournament.