In a clash of top teams in their class Tuesday night #7 in class 3A Mid-Prairie’s second half rally fell short in a loss to Class 2A West Branch 48-42. In a game heard on KCII West Branch built an early lead on easy baskets and first half Mid-Prairie turnovers taking a 24-14 advantage into the halftime break. Out of halftime Mid-Prairie looked primed to repeat last year’s big second half comeback that ended with a win on the road against the Bears, opening the half on an 13-3 run to tie the game. Mid-Prairie would force a tie three times in the second half but the Hawks were never able to wrestle away the lead. West Branch stepped to the line in the final minute and knocked down five of six pressure free throws to put the game out of reach. Mid-Prairie was led by Mariah Swartzentruber who had a breakout game with 13 points. The Bears were led by unsung hero Ashley Finnegan who posted 17 points, well above her seven point per game average. Following the game Head Coach Marc Pennington talked about his team’s effort and the difference in the game
“The first half we had three steals and five deflections and the second half we had 11 steals and 13 deflections, and I think that shows you how active we were, we were just much more aggressive, and when you fall behind that much especially against a good team you you have to spend so much energy to get back into the game, and we had chances and I thought if we could just get the lead we had the chance to put them away,” Pennington said. “Give them credit, they had big time offensive rebounds, we weren’t physical enough, missed too many free throws and that was just the story of the game.”
With the loss Mid-Prairie is now 2-1 on the year and 1-1 in the Cedar Valley Conference. Mid-Prairie will next be in action Friday night at Iowa City Regina, you can hear that game live on KCIIradio.com with pregame at 5:30 and tipoff at 6. The game will also be delayed broadcast following the Washington game.