Golden Hawks hand Wilton first conference loss

By Jeff Yoder
Posted 1/5/22

Mid-Prairie and Wilton both entered Tuesday’s matchup without a loss in the RVC South. The Golden Hawks were also without a starter, Ethan Kos, who sprained an ankle in practice. 

The …

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Golden Hawks hand Wilton first conference loss

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Mid-Prairie and Wilton both entered Tuesday’s matchup without a loss in the RVC South. The Golden Hawks were also without a starter, Ethan Kos, who sprained an ankle in practice. 

The rest of the Mid-Prairie rotation stepped up in his absence, and the Golden Hawks led by as many as 20 points in the second half of a 62-51 victory. 

“We knew defensively and just leadership-wise that Ethan not being there was going to be something that we missed,” Mid-Prairie coach Daren Lambert said. “But you know, guys stepped up tonight. I was very pleased with Shawn (Dodds) and Justice (Jones) and Carter (Harmsen), who went into the post. When you face adversity, you’ve just got to find a way, and that’s what we did tonight.”

Harmsen often matched up defensively with his fellow third-team all-state selection Caden Kirkman. The 6-foot-8 junior was limited to two points at halftime, eventually finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds. 

“When you're guarding a guy like Kirkman, it's not just a one person thing — it's a team effort,” Lambert said. “You can’t just focus on him, because he can kick it out to some pretty good shooters, and some guys stepped up for them tonight and hit some shots. But overall, I was pleased with how we defended.”

The Golden Hawks led just 27-23 early in the second half when Jack Pennington’s 3-pointer started a 22-6 run. 

Carter Harmsen and Alex Bean each converted a 3-point play during the run. Bean also scored three from outside the arc, and Will Cavanagh made all three free throws after drawing a foul while shooting a trey. 

Bean finished with a team-high 20 points, while Harmsen scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Cavanagh also had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Pennington added 10 points. 

During the third quarter, Mid-Prairie was forcing turnovers and extending possessions with offensive rebounds.

“Justice Jones — you look at the stat sheet and you see three assists, three rebounds, but two of those were offensive rebounds where he extends a possession, we hit a three. That's something we weren't doing at the beginning of the game, playing through contact.

“Great defense was leading to easy offense. So when we had a run, that's what was going well and then on the flip side when they had their run, that's what we weren't doing.”

Bean’s third triple of the third quarter was a buzzer beater that put Mid-Prairie ahead 52-33. And then the Beavers scored 13 straight. 

Mid-Prairie’s lead was 52-46 and the Golden Hawks hadn’t scored in over four minutes when Camron Pickard was inbounding the ball under the basket with about 3:40 left. 

“I was real close to using that last time out, the timer is going off in my head, but I saw him making the move,” Lambert said. 

Will Cavanagh cut to the basket and Pickard found him for a layup to end the run. Mid-Prairie went 6-of-8 at the free throw line down the stretch to close out the game. 

Pickard finished with four assists and three steals.

“That was just them making basketball plays, that's now how the play was designed,” Lambert said. But they were both on the same wavelength and made a play happen. And that kind of pushed us back out ahead and gave us that little momentum to finish the job.”

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