MID-PRAIRIE BASKETBALL

Golden Hawks top rival Williamsburg for 11th straight win

Packed house at Mid-Prairie greets showdown between conference unbeatens

By Paul D. Bowker
Posted 1/11/22

WELLMAN

Mid-Prairie’s Golden Hawks had seen enough of the pain.

The Hawks lost in the final minute of last year’s boys basketball season opener at Williamsburg. Mid-Prairie’s …

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MID-PRAIRIE BASKETBALL

Golden Hawks top rival Williamsburg for 11th straight win

Packed house at Mid-Prairie greets showdown between conference unbeatens

Posted

WELLMAN

Mid-Prairie’s Golden Hawks had seen enough of the pain.

The Hawks lost in the final minute of last year’s boys basketball season opener at Williamsburg. Mid-Prairie’s football team lost out to a Williamsburg comeback just a few months ago, costing the Golden Hawks a shot at a district title.

Mid-Prairie's girls basketball team lost by three points to Williamsburg on Monday when a 3-point shot in the final second wouldn't fall.

So when the Golden Hawks went 16 points ahead of the Raiders in Monday’s boys basketball showdown, a game featuring a pair of teams unbeaten in their respective conferences, thoughts of that painful past hit the Hawks. Senior forward Carter Harmsen was among those determined that history wouldn’t repeat.

When Mid-Prairie called a timeout as the Raiders tried to mount another comeback, there was one repeated phrase in the Golden Hawks huddle.

“Just finish,” Golden Hawks head coach Daren Lambert said. “Finish, finish, finish. They were yelling it, I was yelling it.”

Mid-Prairie did finish. Williamsburg trimmed the deficit to five points, but when the buzzer sounded to finish off the Golden Hawks’ 76-71 victory, the team jumped in celebration at mid-court as an army of students and fans swarmed the court.

Harmsen scored a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds and senior center Ethan Koss also had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds in Mid-Prairie’s 11th consecutive win. Senior guard Will Cavanagh, who was quarterback in Mid-Prairie’s football loss at Williamsburg, drilled the Raiders with a career-high six 3-pointers.

“I was kind of fueled by the crowd,” Cavanagh said.

Oh, yes. The game produced a crowd that filled every corner of the gym, attracting fans from Mid-Prairie and Williamsburg. It left them talking about a possible postseason meeting between the Golden Hawks and the Raiders. The Golden Hawks have won all nine conference games in the River Valley South and the Raiders are 8-0 in the WaMaC West.

“It’s super exciting,” Harmsen said. “It’s more fun than not as many people.”

Mid-Prairie had a three-point lead, 35-32, at halftime and then turned up the heat in the third quarter. The Golden Hawks went on an 11-2 run to take a 46-34 lead, a stretch that included consecutive offensive goaltending and defensive goaltending calls on Williamsburg sophomore forward Derek Weisskopf, who scored a team-high 15 points.

Lambert said the team talked about precisely that in the locker room at halftime: The first three minutes of the quarter could decide the game.

Three-pointers by Cavanagh on consecutive possessions put the Golden Hawks up by 13. A basket by senior center Ethan Kos as the buzzer sounded left Mid-Prairie ahead 58-44 entering the final quarter.

A 14-6 run by Williamsburg in the fourth quarter cut a deficit from 16 points to 8, but this time the Golden Hawks held on for a victory on a memorable night in which more than $2,200 was raised for Trever Moen and his family. Trever, a Mid-Prairie junior, is battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

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