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The Mid-Prairie girls jumped out to a 6-0 start with a 46-64 win on Monday at Williamsburg. It is the first time the Mid-Prairie girls program has been undefeated in their first six games in over a decade.
Mid-Prairie was led on the night by Shae Becker, who had 18 of her 21 points in the first half of play, and was simply able to bully opponents in the post to put it in off the glass.
“My teammates did a really good job of getting me the ball,” Becker said. “We went into our 41 offense and kind of isolated me on the interior and I was able to get some easy buckets.”
At halftime, Mid-Prairie held a 25-8 lead as their defense had denied any real post-entry for the Raiders.
After halftime, Williamsburg went on a quick 7-0 run to start the half and brought the deficit down to 10. Mid-Prairie had a response though, and by forcing Williamsburg turnovers they were able to go on a run of their own and balloon the lead to 35-15.
“Coach Bender has really talked to us about staying on our toes on defense and moving in our zone,” Becker said. “When we were getting stops on the defensive end we were able to convert that to easy point on the offensive end.”
Myah Lugar added 11 points on the night and was a big part of the second half offense with eight points in the second half. She also had six rebounds on the night.
The Golden Hawks dealt with foul trouble during most of the night as Becker sat the second half of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth with four fouls. Kessa Jones also found herself in foul trouble for some of the game, giving bench players Ella Cadena and Colby Rourke some increased minutes.
Becker said Rourke coming in and stuffing up the lane on defense was huge for Mid-Prairie down the stretch.
“I think she did an awesome job of playing good defense and that’s what we needed,” Becker said.
At one point in the fourth quarter Mid-Prairie had a 90 second possession, just working the ball between players and burning the clock.
After taking a big lead, the Raiders chipped away at Mid-Prairie with some full-court pressure and cut things as close as eight points with 3:50 left in the fourth quarter, but Mid-Prairie was able to hit enough free throws down the stretch and Williamsburg’s desperation threes weren’t landing.
The Golden Hawks have a big week ahead with two ranked teams on the schedule. They play Cascade on Friday and Bellevue on Saturday, both home games for Mid-Prairie. With a Mid-Prairie win and West Branch loss last Friday, the Golden Hawks now hold the top of the table in the River Valley Conference South division.
Mid-Prairie: 12; 13; 10; 11; 46
Williamsburg: 4; 4; 16; 10; 34
Mid-Prairie defeats Knights
A lopsided fourth quarter made a 57-43 win for Mid-Prairie over North Cedar look much closer than it was. Through three quarters Mid-Prairie led 46-21.
The Golden Hawks got 18 points from Shae Becker, 15 from Myah Lugar and 12 from Maddie Nonnenmann to cruise past a struggling North Cedar squad.
Mid-Prairie was able to tally 12 steals on the night, with four coming from Kessa Jones and Caitlyn Riggan. Becker and Lugar had two each.
North Cedar: 4; 9; 8; 22; 43
Mid-Prairie: 14; 13; 19; 11; 57
Mid-Prairie breaks curse against Iowa City Regina
For the first time in eight meetings, Mid-Prairie has defeated Iowa City Regina. Mid-Prairie used a dominating defensive performance and strong first half to cruise to a 51-44 win.
After eight minutes of play, the scoreboard read 12-0 in favor of Mid-Prairie, capping off a quarter of strong defensive play with the only Regina offense being to throw up a three.
“It’s great and shows how much pride we take in our defense,” Kessa Jones said.
Jones had three steals on the night and leads Mid-Prairie this season with 12 so far.
Myah Lugar scored 17 points, hitting five of nine three-point shots on the night. Shae Becker added 13 points inside and was 3-3 from the line.
Regina outscored Mid-Prairie in the second half by using their press to force Mid-Prairie turnovers. Mid-Prairie coach Stephen Bender said that’s the youth of the team showing, but something they’ll continue to work on as the season progresses and they face more full-court pressure.
Regina: 0; 13; 12; 19; 44
Mid-Prairie: 12; 14; 11; 14; 51