Mid-Prairie upsets No. 5 West Branch
WEST BRANCH — Mid-Prairie went on the road and shocked No. 5 West Branch 57-49 on Tuesday night.
The Golden Hawks overcame a 33-point effort from West Branch senior Rylan Murry, but didn’t allow any of the Bears’ other players to get hot. No other West Branch player reached double figures in scoring.
“Rylan Murry had 33 points out of their 49, but what we didn’t do was let other people hurt us,” Mid-Prairie head coach Chris Kern said. “He got his, but I though we did a really nice job. We started out in [man-to-man defense], and got in a little foul trouble, but the last two and a half quarters we played 2-3 zone and really moved well in it.”
Mid-Prairie built a 33-26 halftime lead, and the Golden Hawks maintained their cushion in the second half.
“The whole second half we kept it about five to six points,” Kern said. “Our guys did a good job of going down and hitting shots, and then Murry would hit a three and they had another kid throw in some long, NBA threes. They would get within five, but we held our ground.”
Junior Dayton Hall scored a career-high 17 points to lead the Golden Hawks. Junior Nathan Faselt added a career-high 11 points, and junior Reid Miller had nine.
Kern said that Tuesday’s victory was a big one for his young squad.
“It’s a great confidence builder more than anything else,” he said.
Mid-Prairie, a team that won just five games last season, is now 2-0 after wins over Washington and West Branch.
“I’m ecstatic to be 2-0 at this point,” said Kern, who is in his first season as Mid-Prairie’s head coach after spending 26 years as an assistant coach at the school. “I really didn’t foresee us being 2-0 after two games with who we’ve played. Like we said to the kids last night, we’ve played two games and it’s a long season, but I’d much rather be 2-0 right now instead of 0-2. I just feel really good about things up to this point.”
The Golden Hawks finish the week with a non-conference game at Mediapolis (3-1) on Thursday and a Cedar Valley Conference contest at Iowa City Regina (0-2) on Friday.
“We’ve got two tough games left this week at Mediapolis tomorrow and at Iowa City Regina on Friday,” Kern said. “This win at West Branch isn’t going to mean as much if we let one of these next two drop the next two nights.”