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Purvey scores 36 as Webster Groves wins 10th in a row over Kirkwood

Purvey scores 36 as Webster Groves wins 10th in a row over Kirkwood


WEBSTER GROVES – Iziah Purvey kept waiting for something to change Friday night.

It never did so neither did he.

A 6-foot-4 sophomore swingman for the Webster Groves boys basketball team, Purvey scored the first 18 points of the game for the Statesmen as they rolled to an 87-53 mercy-rule running clock victory over rival Kirkwood at Roberts Gym on the campus of Webster Groves High.

“I knew I had the mismatch. My teammates were giving me the ball and I was playing off that getting easy buckets,” Purvey said. “I was going to keep eating until they did something and when they did I kicked out to my teammates and we got good shots.”

The No. 4 large school in the rankings, Webster Groves (4-1) has won 10 in a row, 15 of the last 16 and 19 of 21 against Kirkwood (2-2). The last time the Pioneers beat the Statesmen was February 26, 2013 in a district tournament matchup at Vianney. Webster’s 10 consecutive wins is the most in the rivalry this century, one better than its previous nine-game win streak between 2001 and 2005.

The Pioneers have dominated their neighbors on the football field, but the basketball court belongs to the Statesmen.

“It’s all heart,” Kirkwood coach Jimmy McKinney said. “It was just the whole game. It wasn’t just (Purvey). It was their whole team.”

Purvey scored Webster’s first 18 points in less than five minutes and closed the period with 20 as the Statesmen took a 29-13 lead into the second quarter. He finished with a career and game-high 36 points to go along with nine rebounds. The only blemish on his night was he missed his only free throw attempt.

Webster Groves sophomore Iziah Purvey scores on a layup against the Kirkwood defense in a game on Friday evening at Webster Groves High School.

Webster Groves wanted to play through Purvey early. Whether it was scoring or passing, Purvey was at the wheel of the offense in the half-court sets. When he continued to have a mismatch, he continued to take advantage as his teammates fed him the ball.

“It was a focal point, but early, that was just our guys making smart basketball plays,” Webster Groves coach Justin Mathes said. “It wasn’t a whole bunch of sets I called from the bench. That’s them making good reads and finding a good spot to get him the basketball. That’s really encouraging basketball IQ from our guys.”

When Kirkwood did make an adjustment, it opened up opportunities for others, namely Ethan Chartrand. A senior guard and captain, Chartrand scored a season-high 24 points and hauled in six rebounds. He was in attack mode after being relatively quiet during the Statesmen’s first three home games.

“Tonight, I needed to start being more aggressive than I usually have been this season,” Chartrand said. “I kept driving and they kept falling.”

Webster Groves led 47-24 at halftime and opened up a 69-40 lead to start the fourth quarter. Making the Statesmen’s scoring output that much more impressive was senior guard and captain Matt Enright spent much of the night in foul trouble. He didn’t score until the third quarter and not long after he did he picked up his third foul and went back to the bench. He finished the game with two points in limited minutes.

Sophomore guard Gianni Ferentinos knocked down 11 combined 3-pointers in back-to-back games last week. He had two points on a pair of free throws Friday night.

With those two pieces contributing, but not scoring, it was up to the other Statesmen to pick it up. Junior guard CJ Lang had nine points, three rebounds, four assists, five steals and a block. Junior guard Jalen Purvey had nine points, six rebounds and a block.

“I think it means if anyone has their best defender on any one of us we can use any other as a threat,” Chartrand said. “Anyone can score on the court, which is good to know.”

Kirkwood got 12 points, three rebounds and three steals from sophomore guard Jeremiah Poniewaz. McKinney went deep into his bench as 14 players took the court. The second-year Kirkwood coach said he was searching for someone to provide the Pioneers with a spark.

“I’ve been searching, I’m looking for toughness,” he said. “There’s not too much you can take out of this. This is a bona fide butt kicking. We have to go back to the drawing board and try to put this behind us.”

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