Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
Golden Hawk girls claw back
Mid-Prairie erases double-digit deficit to sneak past Mt. Pleasant
WELLMAN — It was the battle ‘MP’ on Monday night in Wellman, as the Mid-Prairie girls basketball team welcomed in Mt. Pleasant in a non-conference clash. The battle went to the hometown Golden Hawks who completed a comeback victory, beating the Panthers 61-51.
It was Mt. Pleasant that had the to start, creating a handful of early turnovers to race out to a double-digit lead in the second quarter. After holding a 15-9 advantage at the first horn, the Panthers ran that up to 21-9 before the Golden Hawks could find their footing.
“I thought the biggest thing, is we had to be better with being strong with the basketball,” said Mid-Prairie head coach Daniel Hershberger. “We kind of let them just take it from us a few times there early.”
Mt. Pleasant led 25-20 at halftime, getting 14 from star senior Andrea Lopreato, but an eight-point first half from Nora Pennington helped the Golden Hawks stay close.
The game tightened up in the third quarter, and Mid-Prairie took a 40-38 lead after Amara Jones got fouled on a 3-pointer in the final second, and preceded to sink all three free throws to grab the lead and some much-needed momentum.
In the fourth, Mid-Prairie started to find some separation.
“We've spent a lot of time conditioning over Christmas break,” said Hershberger. “This is the time when that pays off.”
It wasn’t easy, as Mt. Pleasant came back to take a short-lived lead on a banked-in 3-pointer by Lopreato, but Josie Greiner banked in a 3-pointer of her own, one of three long balls for her on the day.
Later in the fourth, it was Jones who sprung loose, hitting the 3-pointer that would give the Golden Hawks the lead for good.
“They made the shots in the fourth quarter, and we didn't,” said Mt. Pleasant head coach Curt Watson. “Hats off to them. They made the shots when it counted.”
Pennington and Landry Pacha each scored 15 points on the night. Jones had 13. Greiner finished with nine. Maya Nonnenmann tallied six. Kylie Reinier put up four, and Callie Huber chipped in with one.
Mt. Pleasant was led by Lopreato, who had 29 points in the loss. Tristian Shull finished with nine. Hailey Parrott had seven points, all in the first half, and Alex Scott finished with six. The Panthers were playing their first game without starter Andi Scott, who went down with an injury last weekend.
Mid-Prairie moved to 11-5 with the win. Mt. Pleasant is now 9-8.