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Mid-Prairie showed patience and poise against a 1-3-1 zone defense from West Liberty, winning 78-61.
The Golden Hawks constantly attacked the basket for high-percentage shots and it showed on the stat sheet. Mid-Prairie shot 73 percent from the field on the night, their best outing of the season.
Led by 30 points on 12-13 shooting from Tom Butters on the inside and 18 points on 7-12 shooting from Cale Robertson on the outside, the Golden Hawks comfortably held a lead all night.
“I definitely told them to be aggressive. I thought we had the size matchup and besides a few guys were taller and more athletic,” Mid-Prairie coach Daren Lambert said.
The zone look didn’t prove to be too difficult for Mid-Prairie and Lambert said he was happy with how they were patient and looked for good shots.
“Their zone forced us to be patient, which we struggle with sometimes. It forced guys to take care of the basketball in different ways than man-to-man,” Lambert said.
West Liberty had two players score 54 of their 61 points on the night as Seth Feldman had 33 and Gavin Chown scored 21. A chunk of those points came on a late run by West Liberty that had the game as close as 10 points with three minutes left in the game.
After a Mid-Prairie timeout, the Golden Hawks surged forward and quickly put the game out of reach.
Butters led the team in rebounding with 16, Robertson added five rebounds. Brad Tornow continued to command the offense, assisting on eight baskets on the night while adding five points.
The Golden Hawks gathered nine steals and three players had two — Robertson, Grant Boyse and Butters.
Mid-Prairie has now won a pair in a row after dropping three straight games, putting them at 7-6 overall and 6-6 in conference play. They will need to keep this momentum as they head into a tough stretch over their next three conference games.
They hosted Tipton (7-4) on Tuesday and then make the long trip ton River Valley Conference North leader Camanche (11-1) on Friday. They then will face off next Tuesday at Iowa City Regina (10-2).
West Liberty: 11; 15; 13; 22; 61
Mid-Prairie: 20; 19; 17; 22; 78
Hawks drop Durant
Mid-Prairie ended a losing streak and defeated Durant last Tuesday night.
The 65-53 win saw Mid-Prairie have a scoring advantage in each of the four quarters on the night led by 26 points from Cale Robertson.
Robertson was 9-15 from the floor on the night including 5-9 from 3-point range.
Grant Boyse hit double-digits for the first time this year with 10 points on the night, hitting five of his six shots.
Brad Tornow had eight assists and Ethan Trimpe had five. Dom Pickard continued to hit 3-point shots when called upon, going 4-5 from beyond the arc for 12 points. Pickard is hitting nearly 50 percent of his 3-point shots this season.
Durant: 11; 12; 17; 12; 53
Mid-Prairie: 16; 13; 21; 15; 65