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Mid-Prairie trailed 39-35 after three quarters of play with Bellevue on Saturday afternoon. Some of the Mid-Prairie players had played nearly every minute of a seven-point win over West Branch just 20 hours earlier, while the 2A No. 14 Comets had a five-day rest after playing on Monday.
“I just told them, ‘Hey we’ve got one more quarter left, you’re looking a little tired. Just leave it all out on the floor, you’ve got tomorrow off, so just leave it out there and let’s get this win.’ The girls stepped up and they did a great job in that fourth quarter,” Mid-Prairie coach Stephen Bender said.
The Golden Hawks closed the game with a 15-2 run for a 60-47 win. Mid-Prairie has won nine in a row after a 1-3 start.
Mid-Prairie took an early nine-point lead with a 14-0 run in the first quarter. Anna Vilovchik, who entered the game averaging 2.8 points per contest, scored six in the quarter and finished with 12. She was efficient offensively, going three of five from the floor and six of six from the free throw line, but one of her most impressive plays came at the defensive end in the second quarter. Vilovchik’s pass was intercepted, but she recovered in time to prevent a layup and force a jump ball. On the ensuing possession she made two free throws to extend the lead to 22-15.
Senior Ireland Hostetler picked up her third foul in the second quarter and went to the bench with Mid-Prairie protecting a 24-15 lead. The Comets closed the quarter on an 8-3 run with the conference’s second-best shot blocker on the bench.
In the third quarter, Hostetler had Mid-Prairie’s first four points, but Bellevue went on to outscore Mid-Prairie 16-8 in the quarter.
Hostetler changed her approach with three fouls.
“Blocks were no longer as big of a priority because I couldn’t risk the foul,” she said. “I just had to be smart, stay on my feet and anticipate where the drive was going to go, whether they were going to dish it off in the middle or not.”
Mid-Prairie was facing two of the best forwards in the conference. Five-foot 11-inch Emma Kelchen who averages 15 points per game and is seventh in the RVC with 14 blocks, and five-foot nine-inch Rebecca Schroeder who averages a double-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds.
Despite the foul trouble, Hostetler played one of her best games of the season, finishing with 16 points, 12 rebounds, six blocked shots and four assists.
In the fourth quarter, Hostetler stole the ball and threw it over the defense to Ali Butters streaking to the basket to tie the game 41-41. Hostetler and Butters combined for all of Mid-Prairie’s points during a 10-2 run to start the fourth quarter. The Comets would tie the game at 45-45, but Mid-Prairie made nine free throws down the stretch to close out the game.
Butters finished with 15 points. Addie Rath played all 32 minutes and finished with eight points, six rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks. Caitlyn Riggan was 2-4 from long range and finished with eight.
Mid-Prairie used a balanced offensive attack and a nice night from the free throw line to down West Branch 56-49 on Friday night.
The Golden Hawks took an 18-7 lead after one quarter and led by 13 at the break. West Branch closed the gap to 41-35 with a quarter left, but Mid-Prairie held on for the win.
Ali Butters led the way with 14 points and six assists. She made eight of 10 attempts from the foul line. Mid-Prairie shot 21-29 as a team. Shae Becker nearly had a double-double for a second straight game, finishing with 12 points and nine rebounds. Ireland Hostetler had ten points, eight rebounds and six blocked shots. Addie Rath had 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Ali Butters scored 16 points, including the first four Mid-Prairie points in overtime, as the Golden Hawks survived an upset bid by Tipton, 43-41.
Trailing 36-35, Shae Becker grabbed an offensive rebound and drew a foul with 1.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The first was no good, but she made the second to send the game into overtime.
The Tigers took a three-point lead in the extra period, but Butters came back with four points to give Mid-Prairie the lead for good with 1:30 left. The Golden Hawks were working the clock with 30 seconds left when Addie Rath found a wide-open Anna Vilovchick for a layup.
Tipton had a chance to tie the game with a three-point play, but missed the free throw. Rath made one of two at the other end and the Tigers’ final shot was off the mark.
Becker finished with 11 points, 13 rebounds and six steals. Rath had 11 points, nine rebounds, and five steals. Rath was 2-2 from the three-point line. Delaney Smith was 1-3 from behind the arc to finish with three points and three assists.
Mid-Prairie led 23-13 after scoring the first six points of the third quarter, but the Tigers came back with a trio of three-pointers during an 11-1 run to tie the game. Tipton made all five of its three-point shots in the second half.
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