Calera boys fall to Bibb County
By TREY HICKMAN/For the Reporter
CALERA — Against Class 4A Area 4 foe Calera on Jan. 9, visiting Bibb County’s Danjel Purifoy lived up to his billing as one of the best juniors in the country.
The 6-foot-7 forward — and No. 39 player in the nation for the Class of 2015, according to ESPN.com — showed top-notch athleticism and a soft shooting touch on his way to a game-high 35 points, including 20 in the first half, as the Choctaws took down the Eagles, 83-63.
In addition to his scoring output, Purifoy recorded five rebounds, six steals and six blocks.
“He (Purifoy) had a heck of a ballgame tonight,” said Calera head coach George Drake. “He’s a very tough (player to) guard I would say for anybody, being 6-foot-7, able to handle the ball, very mature with the basketball, and he can do a lot of different things. That makes it tough for our defenders, at that size and being able to handle the ball the way that he does. He’s a very good player.”
Despite the efforts of Jordan Bishop and Ronnie Clark, who each poured in 18 points, and Drew Marling, who followed with 15, it was too much Purifoy and Company as the Choctaws improved to 17-3 overall and 4-0 in Area 4.
“It was a very tough loss for us but we talk about it all the time, and kind of one of our things with our basketball club is that we have to be a resilient team,” said Drake. “Win or lose, we have to be resilient.
“We have to be able to bounce back from a deficit like we had tonight and turn around and suit up the next day. In our case we play Oneonta (on Jan. 10) so that one (the Bibb County game) is behind us.”
Clark added six rebounds as the Eagles dropped to 9-6 on the season and 1-1 in Area 4.
For Bibb County, Brandon Rutledge complemented Purifory with 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists while Johnta Murphy had five steals.
The Eagles move to face Oneonta on Jan. 10.