After two weeks of practice, Mid-Prairie coach Danny Hershberger had questions about how his team would react to pressure of an actual game and whether they would find chemistry on the …
After two weeks of practice, Mid-Prairie coach Danny Hershberger had questions about how his team would react to pressure of an actual game and whether they would find chemistry on the court.
“It’s just a new group working together,” he said. “So, defensively, can we do a good job of being in the right spot? Can we communicate and make sure we're doing the right things and helping each other out?”
During Tuesday’s season opener at Fairfield, the answer was yes.
Mid-Prairie led by as many as 29 points in the 59-42 win over the Trojans.
The Golden Hawks allowed just three points in the second quarter and took a 36-8 lead to halftime.
Communication was key.
“I think that's somewhere where we grew tonight,” Hershberger said. “We were on the same page a lot more than we had been in practices and scrimmages. I was really happy with the way the girls communicated and were able to be where they were supposed to.”
Mid-Prairie opened the second quarter with a 13-0 run, which included seven points from senior Maya Nonnenmann.
“We just kept pushing,” said Nonnenmann, who finished with eight points and five rebounds. “We were really good moving the ball around. I just thought we did really well hustling down the court for fast breaks.”
Maya has a new jersey this year, keeping her sister Maddie’s number 33 in the family for one more season.
“I figured I would take Maddie’s because I didn't really want anybody else to have it,” she said. “It’s pretty important to me.”
Her first 3-pointer of the season pushed the Golden Hawk lead to 27-5. The final eight points of the half were produced by the Golden Hawk bench as freshman Jovi Evans scored the first four points of her career. Brylee Gearheart and Callie Huber each added a bucket as well.
“We did a great job of running our transition offense and being able to force some turnovers and turn that into offense,” Hershberger said.
“That's what we want to do offensively — push it down the court and get a good shot. And I thought we did a really nice job of getting some offensive rebounds and crashing and glass, getting some put backs there as well.”
After a poor shooting first half, the Trojans made three of their first four 3-point attempts during an 11-2 run that cut into the Mid-Prairie lead.
After several empty trips, Golden Hawk senior Landry Pacha went to work in the paint. With several offensive rebounds, she scored eight of her 11 points in the third quarter as Mid-Prairie increased the lead to 49-22.
“We just needed to keep our defense sharp — getting them to turn the ball over was our main goal and then we can go fast up the court,” Pacha said. And we made that into our offense.”
Josie Greiner’s second 3-pointer of the game gave Mid-Prairie a 57-28 lead before the Trojans went on a 14-2 run against the Golden Hawk bench.
Greiner finished with seven points and three steals. Evans grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and stole the ball three times as well. Pacha had nine rebounds and Huber grabbed eight.
Kylie Reinier scored three of her five points from the free throw line.
Mid-Prairie shot 11-of-18 from the stripe, led by Amara Jones, who was 4-for-5.
Jones led the Golden Hawks with 13 points, six assists, and five steals.
“It starts with her effort out there on defense and in her ability to push the ball up the court,” Hershberger said about his senior point guard. “She can get the ball and she can turn it into a three on one real quick just by how fast she can move the ball up the court and that’s huge for us.”
The Golden Hawks will be back in action on Tuesday, November 29 at Benton Community. Mid-Prairie will be back home on Friday, December 2 against Anamosa.