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Rivalry Tilts Mid-Prairie’s Way

Posted: Wednesday, November 28th, 2012 at 8:30 am
Author: KCII Radio- Zach Ulin

In the latest addition of the Washington County rivalry match Mid-Prairie swept both varsity contests from the Washington Demons Tuesday night in Wellman. In games heard on KCII, the #9 in class 3A Mid-Prairie girls scored a hard fought 30-22 win over #10 in 4A Washington. Demon head coach Phil long says it best when he talked with us after the game.

“There are a couple of things that we put up as bullet points in the locker room before we started, was rebounding who ever won that war, and who ever stepped to the free throw line and made free throws would probably win the game,” Long said. “I haven’t sent he official stats yet, but you go 3-12 at the free throw line, [we] miss nine lose by eight, [we] probably got doubled up in the rebounding war, they were just way more physical than us on the offensive end getting three or four looks, both teams shot horribly, but when you’re getting three or four looks every time down the offensive floor, you’re going to kick one in eventually.”

Both teams struggled mightily on the offensive end of the floor due to poor shooting and physical, opportunistic defenses. The Golden Hawks led by a 5-2 count after the first two minutes and the game entered the halftime break tied at just seven. Mid-Prairie came out of the locker room and used a 16-5 run that spanned the entire third quarter to capture some breathing room, during the run the Golden Hawks got a big three point goal from Erika Murphy and two big baskets from Sophomore Taylor Kurtz. In the fourth quarter Mid-Prairie managed only one field goal as Washington tried to put together a charge but could get no closer than the final score. The win over Washington was the first of their career’s for Mid-Prairie’s senior class and the first in the series for the Golden Hawks since 2005. Mid-Prairie was led by Murphy who posted a game high 13 points. Golden-Hawk head coach Marc Pennington said this felt like the postseason already.

“In a game like this a 10 point game can feel a little bit bigger because points are hard to come by, so I felt really good about our third quarter,” Kern said. “We didn’t finish it out quite how we wanted in the fourth quarter, but a win is a win against a good team like Washington in a physical game with a great crowd, it felt like a tournament game to me, and I think that’s how it felt to them.”

Johanna Vittetoe led the Demons with five. Washington is now 2-1 on the young season and will face Williamsburg Thursday night, Mid-Prairie stands at 2-0 and will be at West Branch on Tuesday, you can catch both games right here on the one to count on for today’s local sports coverage AM and FM KCII.

Where the girls game left off, the boys picked up as Mid-Prairie scored an exciting 48-46 win in front of a packed house at Tim Grady Gymnasium. The start couldn’t have been better for the Golden Hawks following a Reid Miller three Mid-Prairie led 13-4 early in the second quarter. Washington battled back behind three point goals from Kyle Roder, Justin Hoffman and Gage Redlinger, with Roder’s coming at the buzzer giving Washington a 23-22 lead going to the break. Washington kept momentum going out of the locker room building a 32-27 lead mid way through the third before Mid-Prairie rallied to tie the score, Washington would put together another push to take a 39-35 lead into the final eight minutes of play. The Mid-Prairie defense clamped down in the fourth, allowing just one Washington field goal as Mid-Prairie climbed back to tie the game at 45 with 1:11 to play. Hoffman of the Demons was fouled and hit the first of two free throws, his second, a miss, caromed into the hands of Reid Miller who found Dayton Hall who was streaking to the basket at the other end, Hall hit the lay up to put Mid-Prairie in front and completed the three point play giving Mid-Prairie a 48-46 lead. Washington had a final chance to tie with the ball and eight seconds left but Hoffman could not convert a turn around jumper in the lane and the Golden Hawks survived. Mid-Prairie was led by Reid Miller’s 11 points while Washington had Hoffman and Alex Coker lead the way with 13 points apiece. Demon head coach Bryce Smeins said this is a game that despite who won, was a good game for both teams on and off the court.

“This has been a rivalry for a long time, the kids know each other, they’re pretty good friends off the court, and we play them in football and everything else, and it was a pretty hard fought game tonight, and it went down the buzzer,” Smeins said.

The win completed the sweep and gave first year Golden Hawk head Coach Chris Kern his first career win, and he said it was exactly what he expected.

“I’ll tell you, it was a battle, and like I said the other day, how many times does Washington and Mid-Prairie play, and I don’t care what the records are, for the most part it is a battle, and I don’t think anyone was let down tonight,” Kern said.

Mid-Prairie is now 1-0 on the season and will next be in action Tuesday at West Branch. Washington is 0-1 on the young year and next takes on Durant Friday night.