First United Bank Boys Athlete of the Week: Cole Purcell, Bushland

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Cole Purcell, Bushland basketball, Jr.

On the court: In a pair of District 1-3A games against metro opponents last week, Purcell emerged as the latest area boys scoring star to help the Falcons stay unbeaten atop the district. Purcell started the week at Highland Park by literally matching the opposition’s output, torching the Hornets for 36 points in a 91-36 victory. He wasn’t quite as hot in the second game of the week Friday against River Road, but again was the difference maker, as he scored a game-high 22 points to lead Bushland to a 71-49 victory which kept the Falcons in a tie for the district lead at 3-0 and moved them above .500 for the season at 9-8. Despite standing only 5-foot-10, Purcell leads the Falcons in scoring with 12.0 points a game and is shooting an impressive 41.2 percent from 3-point range.

Coach Kendall Cogburn: “I think early he saw some shots go in but for us he’s put the time in to be a good shooter. He’s consistently working on his shot and spending time in the gym to do what it takes. I’m not surprised. I’m glad he’s got a little confidence recently. The other thing is he’s done a great job of attacking the rack. He’s a lefty who can go either way. It’s harder to block that shot when he gets inside and goes to his left. He’s really doing a good job of taking great shots. I think it’s going to open up some other guys as well. We’re pretty balanced scoring. We’ve still got several guys averaging nine or eight points a game. (Purcell) has definitely established himself as a go-to guy. When he’s got the hot hand they look for him a little bit more.”

Purcell: “It was really just having a scoring mindset. Going into this season that was one thing I knew I had to do better was shoot the ball and score. I try to get my shots when I need them, and if they’re not falling, then getting to the rim and getting fouled. It was really being more of a leader on the team. I didn’t play a lot last year just getting used to the varsity level. Going into this year I knew I had to step up for my team. It’s more about finesse and kind of outsmarting everybody and just taking my shots when I’m open. It kind of boosts out confidence that we can win our district and just keep going on a roll. Right now in district this is the best we’ve played.”

About Purcell

Favorite band or musician: George Strait

Favorite social media platform: Instagram

Favorite athlete: Steph Curry

Bet you didn’t know: Has competed in rodeo.

Parents: Lance and Johnna Purcell

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