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Caitlyn Riggan put the exclamation point on a Mid-Prairie run that handed the Golden Hawks a 56-51 victory over non-conference opponent Mediapolis.
Riggan’s 3-point shot with under three minutes left gave Mid-Prairie their first lead since early in the third quarter.
“We had a lot of momentum after that and after I hit that I knew things would get better and better,” Riggan said.
Things did get better for Mid-Prairie as Mediapolis went scoreless in the last 2:10 of the game and four straight free throws from Addie Rath closed out the game.
The win broke a five-game losing streak for the Golden Hawks and gives them a good non-conference win. Mediapolis has been ranked for the majority of the season in Class 2A.
Mid-Prairie saw some of their younger players step up during the game as freshman Myah Lugar hit three 3-point shots for nine points, Riggan, a sophomore, had five points and freshman Phelan Hostetler had four points and five rebounds in the post.
The scoring tandem of Rath and forward Shae Becker kept Mid-Prairie in the game during stretches of tough defense from Mediapolis. As soon as it seemed Mediapolis was going to start on a run, Becker or Rath would draw a foul to get to the free-throw line.
The two combined for all 20 of Mid-Prairie’s free-throw attempts.
“We knew if we would pass it into the post and pump-fake, it would get them into foul trouble because all they were trying to do was jump and block shots,” Riggan said.
That strategy paid off as Helaina Hillyard, who has the fourth most steals in the state and averages three blocked shots per game, picked up four fouls in the first half of the game. By the end of regulation Western Illinois commit Mackenzie Rogers had fouled out of the game as well.
Mid-Prairie finished the week going 1-2, beating Mediapolis on Thursday with losses to Wilton on Tuesday and Camanche on Friday.
During the Wilton game Addie Rath scored her 1,000 point. Putting her on the board as the fourth Mid-Prairie girls basketball player to do so. They lost 65-63.
Friday’s game against Camanche featured another long bus ride, something coach Stephen Bender said has been a bit of a boogeyman for Mid-Prairie.
“We’ve really struggled all three games we’ve played back-to-back nights and had to travel far,” he said.
Mid-Prairie dropped the game 79-43 with no Golden Hawks getting into double figures. Delaney Smith led Mid-Prairie with nine points on 3-7 shooting from beyond the arc.
Mid-Prairie: 20; 10; 14; 19; 63
Wilton: 16; 9; 22; 18; 65
Mediapolis: 12; 10; 17; 12; 51
Mid-Prairie: 15; 9; 14; 18; 56
Mid-Prairie: 14; 5; 7; 17; 43
Camanche: 24; 17; 13; 25; 79