Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
FAIRFIELD — Dan Breen Gymnasium in Fairfield was host to the season opener for two area girls’ basketball teams, as Mid-Prairie and Fairfield went at it for the first time since 2016, and it was all Golden Hawks as the road team led start to finish.
An experienced Mid-Prairie squad used a dominant first half to run away from Fairfield early. The Golden Hawks secured a 59-42 win.
“We have different roles this year than last year,” said Mid-Prairie girls’ basketball coach Daniel Hershberger. “So I'm really happy with the way the girls came out and were able to execute what we wanted to do.”
Mid-Prairie, which returned three starters and almost all of its bench production from last year, showed early that they were the more ready team. The Golden Hawks led 14-5 after one quarter and had the lead up to 36-8 by halftime, thanks in part to eight first half points by Amara Jones, and eight by Maya Nonnenmann.
Fairfield finally found its groove in the second half, and actually outscored Mid-Prairie 34-23 in the final two periods. It was just too little too late for a team that lost its Top-5 scorers and top rebounder from last season.
“We made good adjustments,” said new Trojan head coach Rebecca Baker. “You always wonder with a young team and a new coach, trying to figure out chemistry and dynamic, and things like that.”
Baker, who coaches volleyball for Mid-Prairie in the fall, said she knew she was up against a tough battle going in to her first game at the helm for the Trojans.
“They're just a good group of kids,” said Baker about the Mid-Prairie squad. “I kind of wished we wouldn't have opened against them because I knew they were bringing an experienced team back, but at the same time it was good to measure ourselves against a team with that kind of experience.”
It was each team’s first official game with a shot clock, which was implemented by the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union this season, but there were no violations in a game that saw fast-paced action.
“It’s just one more thing you have to be aware of,” said Hershberger. “We didn't think about it too much. The way we play, it's not going to effect us much.”
Jones finished the night with 13 points, six assists and five steals to lead Mid-Prairie. Landry Pacha nearly notched a double-double, scoring 11 points and bringing down nine rebounds. Nonnenmann ended with eight.
Josie Greiner had seven points and three steals off the bench for Mid-Prairie. Kylie Reinier scored five. Jovi Evans had four points, 10 rebounds and there steals. Callie Huber scored four. Nora Pennington had three, and Katelyn Harland and Brylee Gearhart each had two.
Fairfield’s Savannah Hollander led all scorers with 14. Ashlynn Lisk finished with nine. Addison Ferrell finished with eight. Maddie Jones had six. Grace Lyon scored three, and Briana Steele ended with two.
Mid-Prairie (1-0) will next play at Benton, on Nov. 29. Fairfield (0-1) also will play on the 29th, against Oskaloosa.