Just like a pendulum, this River Valley conference matchup between the Golden Hawks and the Regals swung back and forth through three closely contested quarters at the Xtreme Arena in Coralville. …
Just like a pendulum, this River Valley conference matchup between the Golden Hawks and the Regals swung back and forth through three closely contested quarters at the Xtreme Arena in Coralville. Ultimately Mid-Prairie was able to stand firm with the lead in the fourth quarter to pick up a win over Regina Catholic, 58-52, on January 10.
With this win Mid-Prairie improved its record to 7-4 on the season and now possess a 3-2 record in conference play, while Regina Catholic fell to a 6-6 record on the season and dropped to a 4-5 record in conference play.
This matchup was the first game of a triple-header of high school boy’s basketball games at the Xtreme Arena last Tuesday and this grandiose venue gave some players a glimpse of what it is like to play in the state tournament
“Xtreme Arena did a great job of hosting our teams and putting on the games for the evening. The arena experience offers a “big time feel” for our team and gives you a taste of what it’s like to play in the state tournament,” Mid-Prairie coach Daren Lambert said. “We have a group of players who were a part of the experience last year and Tuesday night was the first taste for a few players of playing in an arena. Overall a great experience that players will remember from their careers.”
This game saw four lead changes in the first quarter and seven lead changes in the third quarter. In total there were 13 lead changes with each team hoping to put together a run that would solidify a victory.
At the beginning of the game Mid-Prairie held a 9-3 advantage in the first quarter but the Regals responded by going on a 6-0 run to tie the game and even managed to end the quarter ahead in points, 16-15.
Right away the second quarter saw the lead go back to the Golden Hawks with its own 6-0 run courtesy of back-to-back buckets from junior Dylan Henry and a short ranged shot from senior Camron Pickard. While the Regals were not able to snatch the lead back in this quarter they still put the pressure on Mid-Prairie and went into halftime only trailing by a single point, 27-26.
After halftime Regina Catholic scored the first points of the third quarter to obtain a single point advantage but Mid-Prairie senior Alex Bean, the leading scorer for the Golden Hawks, responded with a three-pointer, giving his team a two-point lead.
The third quarter was the most tumultuous quarter of the game, with Bean’s three-point shot being matched by the Regals with a three-pointer of its own, regaining its one point advantage they started the quarter with. This would be the atmosphere the game has ramped up into, being wary the other team could come back and snatch the lead at any moment.
There was a scoreboard issue in the third quarter with it displaying the incorrect number of points. The student cheering section for the Golden Hawks noticed the error right away and did their best to call attention to the problem. This issue was corrected in a timely manner with no real stoppage to the game. The student cheering section for Mid-Prairie was lively throughout the whole game but this was probably their most impactful moment.
As the third quarter wound down the Regals were able to cling onto a one point lead, 44-43, heading into the deciding frame of the game.
“We had success with our full court pressure throughout the game and forced Regina into 20 plus turnovers. We struggled in the first three quarters to convert on those extra possessions on the offensive end,” Lambert said about the competitiveness of the game. “In the fourth quarter we hit some timely shots as well as converted on our opportunities to push our lead out and maintain that lead.”
To open up the fourth quarter Bean was able to make back-to-back buckets, with the second score coming off of a steal, to give the Golden Hawks a three point advantage. This time Mid-Praire did not relinquish the lead.
It did get close near the end with Regina Catholic making a three-pointer to pull within one but Mid-Prairie junior Brock Harland responded with a three-point shot of his own, giving the Golden Hawks the cushion they needed to secure the victory.
Bean led all scorers in the game with 21 points. His mix of outside and inside shooting proved to be quite successful against the Regal’s defense. On the defensive side of the ball he led the team in steals with seven. Bean was also perfect from the free throw line, making all four of his attempts.
Coming off the bench Mid-Prairie sophomore Ace Peck was the second leading scorer for the Golden Hawks with 11 points. Peck’s three point shooting, going three-for-four beyond the three point arc, was a consequential component in his team keeping a lead in the final quarter. He was also the team’s leading rebounder, with six boards.
Mid-Prairie 57, Tipton 52
Now the winners of three of its last four games, the Golden Hawks were able to claim victory on the road with a 57-52 win over conference opponent Tipton, on January 13.
Mirroring each other’s scores after one quarter both Mid-Prairie and Tipton were knotted up at 14 entering the second quarter. In the second quarter Tipton was able to score 14 points again, but this time the Golden Hawks scored 15 points, giving them a 29-28 point going into halftime.
Coming out of halftime Tipon was able to outscore Mid-Prairie 12-11 in the third quarter, making the game tied at 40 with the final quarter still waiting to be played. In the final frame of the game the Golden Hawks were the ones to be able to come out on top of a close game by outscoring Tipton 18-11.
Mid-Prairie senior Camron Pickard was the leading scorer for the Golden Hawks with 13 points. Pickard had a decent all around game where he recorded four rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
There were two players for Mid-Prairie who tied with each other to be the second leading scorer for the Golden Hawks, senior Alex Bean with 10 points and junior Beau Flynn who also notched 10 points. Bean was able to shoot a perfect six-for-six from the free throw line and Flynn ended the night with a perfect 100% field goal percentage, shooting four-for-four from the floor.
At home for the first time this year Mid-Prairie (8-4) faced West Branch (5-8) in a River Valley conference matchup on January 17th. This was the second time these two teams played against each other this season with West Branch coming out on top in the first matchup, 64-56, on December 9.
On the road for its next game the Golden Hawks will battle conference opponent West Liberty (4-8) on January 20. This will be the second meeting between these two teams this season with Mid-Praire being victorious in the first matchup, 71-41, on December 6.