With a workman like performance Friday night in Wellman the #9 ranked West Branch Bears downed the Mid-Prairie boys basketball team 43-31. In a game heard on KCII, West Branch led throughout but couldn’t get much separation in the first half taking a 22-16 lead into the locker room. After the game Coach Chris Kern talked about his team’s first half performance and the message at the break.
“What we wanted to do was come out and play the strong zone defense and keep them in check, and for the most part we did, we had it down to eight points in the fourth quarter and then we let Murry come down and get a three on us and then the worst part was after that we turned the ball over and they came down and got another three,” Kern said.
In the second half the Bears tightened the defensive screws in their 2-3 zone holding Mid-Prairie to just four third quarter points. The Golden Hawks were patient against the zone but there just weren’t many good looks to be had. Mid-Prairie put together a mini run early in the fourth quarter, scoring five straight to get within eight but all state candidate Rylan Murry hit a big three to stop the Golden Hawk momentum. Mid-Prairie was led by Dayton Hall’s nine points. The Golden Hawks are now 6-5 on the season, 3-5 in the Cedar Valley Conference and will be on the road Monday at Fairfield.