Mid-Prairie opens season with 57-37 win over Durant

Jones leads Golden Hawks with 21 points and six steals

By Jeff Yoder
Posted 11/24/21

Five minutes into Tuesday’s game, Mid-Prairie was in need of an offensive spark.

Durant had a 5-4 lead. Maddie Nonnenmann was on the bench with two fouls. And in the first game of the …

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Mid-Prairie opens season with 57-37 win over Durant

Jones leads Golden Hawks with 21 points and six steals

Posted

Five minutes into Tuesday’s game, Mid-Prairie was in need of an offensive spark.

Durant had a 5-4 lead. Maddie Nonnenmann was on the bench with two fouls. And in the first game of the season, the Golden Hawk shooters were ice cold. 

Then Amara Jones caught fire. 

She scored 11 points during a 16-4 first-half run, giving the Golden Hawks a nine-point lead with a 3-pointer from the corner. Jones finished with 21 points as Mid-Prairie opened the season with a 57-37 win over Durant.

After losing three of his top four scorers from a season ago, Mid-Prairie coach Danny Hershberger needs players like Jones to take on new roles this season.  

“She's been our point guard, distributing the ball the last couple of years,” he said. “And we talked this offseason, ‘hey, your role is going to be different, we're going to count on you to be one of our top scorers, you’ve got to look for your offense more.’

"And she's really grabbed ahold of that and has really done an amazing job of being able to supply some offense for us.”

Jones shot 10-of-15 from the field, and had four assists in the win as well.

“She can hit outside shots, she can get to the basket and finish around the basket,” Hershberger said. “Just how hard she plays just pays off for her and she's able to rack up some easy points just by her effort. And we're really happy with the way she’s started out the season.”

Mid-Prairie had just eight points late in the first quarter, before Maya Nonnenmann beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer. The Golden Hawk offense put up 17 points in the second quarter and 16 more in the third. 

 “We just started moving the ball better and just trusting ourselves more to hit the shots when we were open,” Jones said. 

Landry Pacha hit back-to-back 3-pointers and scored eight points during a 10-0 run that gave Mid-Prairie a 26-10 lead. 

I'm just proud of the way the girls stuck with it,” Hershberger said. “That was huge for us to start being able to hit some shots. It's a huge confidence booster when you can get those points on the board and get that momentum.”

Pacha finished with 10 points. Maddie Nonnenmann scored all 10 of her points in the second half. Despite sitting the entire second quarter, she led Mid-Prairie with six rebounds. 

Maya Nonnenmann finished with eight points and three steals. Nora Pennington scored six. 

Mid-Prairie forced 25 turnovers with 18 steals in the game. Six players had at least two steals, led by Jones with six. The Golden Hawks also won the rebounding battle with a good effort from the guards. Jones and Pennington each had four. 

“Those are two huge things that we want to win every night,” Hershberger said about the turnovers and rebounds.. “We want to get our hands up. We chart deflections, we chart hustle plays, we chart all those things on defense. 

“That's something we're working for all the time — just causing problems on defense with our hands, with our feet. And the girls have been doing a great job of buying into that and making it difficult on them.”

Ally Happ led Durant with 13 points. Mid-Prairie will be back on the court in West Liberty on Tuesday, November 30. 

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