There were times for the Mid-Prairie basketball teams where it looked like their opponents would pull away with a victory Tuesday night.
But the Golden Hawks reupped their momentum thanks to some dominant performances and handily won both contests against Durant.
The earlier girl’s game featured Mid-Prairie attaining a comfortable 14-7 lead after one quarter, only to see it shrink to a 23-19 lead at the half. But the ladies limited the Wildcats to 10 points in the entire second half for a resounding 54-29 win.
Junior Maddie Nonnenmann led the Golden Hawks with 21 points, and sophomore Amara Jones had five steals. Coach Daniel Hershberger said he was proud of how his team performed.
“Our offense made some adjustments and we did a better job of getting the ball inside and being aggressive driving to the basket, but our defensive effort was the biggest factor for us in the second half,” Hershberger said.
Getting 21 free throw opportunities, Hershberger noted, also proved advantageous. “When our shots weren’t falling,” he said, “we did a good job of finding ways to get to the line.”
For the boys’ squad, they recouped from two very close defeats to double up Durant’s score, 70-35. A key part of the victory: a second quarter in which they outscored the Wildcats 24-3 and went on an impressive 21-0 run.
“The defense led to more possessions offensively and we did a much better job of looking for great shots and not settling for contested looks like we did in the first quarter,” boys’ head coach Daren Lambert said.
For a team that had been down early and narrowly eked out a one-point margin after the first, the second quarter proved the Golden Hawks had a lot more fight left in them.
The Golden Hawks also allowed only three points in the fourth quarter. Both boys’ squads scored half of their free throws, but the difference was the chances they had. Mid-Prairie took 19 shots while Durant only had six.
Junior Carter Harmsen led the team with 19 points, with junior Ethan Kos not far behind with 16. Sophomore Alex Bean, who Lambert said “rebound[ed] after a tough two games shooting the ball,” scored twelve points, including a trio of three-pointers. The threes rained down often late in the game, but whenever Durant hit one, Mid-Prairie was always quick to answer.