Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1104420

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 25, 2014

Mid-Prairie defeats West Branch in conference game

By Derek Helling | Jan 20, 2014
Photo by: Derek Helling Mid-Prairie’s Alex Rath (right) and Ireland Hosteler (left) on defense against West Branch

The Mid-Prairie Golden Hawk girls’ basketball team defended its home court and won their second consecutive game on Friday, Jan. 17, defeating the West Branch Bears 45-39 in a River Valley conference game.
There was little separation between the teams through the first eight minutes of play as the opening quarter ended with West Branch nursing a 10-9 lead. Most of the second quarter went the same way, until junior Alison Riggan hit a 3-pointer to close out the first half for Mid-Prairie and give the Golden Hawks a 22-19 halftime lead.
“I thought hitting that 3-pointer right before halftime was a huge momentum swing in our favor,” Mid-Prairie head coach Stephen Bender said.
That momentum was most visible in the Golden Hawks’  second-half defensive effort. Mid-Prairie held West Branch to 20 points in the second half.
“You could tell on our defense we anticipated the passes, we got some steals, some deflections. I thought our defense mixed things up and they had trouble with our defense. That got our offense going. We got some easy buckets,” Bender explained.
The Golden Hawks shot a respectable 45 percent (17/38) from the field in the game. 13 of their 17 field goals were assisted. Mid-Prairie also recorded nine steals. As a team they went 9/24 at the free throw line and 2/5 from 3-point range.
Mid-Prairie junior Taylor Kurtz said about the offense, “I knew that we had to be patient. I knew that if we rebounded it would fall into place.”

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