Golden Hawks rout West Branch 75-54 in ninth straight win

By Jeff Yoder
Posted 1/8/22

With a nine-point lead, Mid-Prairie came out of the halftime locker room on Friday ready to put the game away. 

Carter Harmsen put the exclamation point on a 10-2 run with a two-handed slam …

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Golden Hawks rout West Branch 75-54 in ninth straight win

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With a nine-point lead, Mid-Prairie came out of the halftime locker room on Friday ready to put the game away. 

Carter Harmsen put the exclamation point on a 10-2 run with a two-handed slam and the Golden Hawks led by at least 15 the rest of the way in the 75-54 win over West Branch. 

“Our style is to push the tempo, and usually it doesn’t show its effects until the second half,” Mid-Prairie coach Daren Lambert said. “If you go back and look at a lot of our scores, we may be up eight to ten points, and the third quarter is when you get that little run and really turn it on.” 

Ethan Kos hadn’t played in a game since Christmas due to an ankle sprain. He saw a few good looks roll off the rim in the first quarter, but scored six points in the second quarter. He scored the Golden Hawks’ first six points in the third as well. 

“I got nervous after not making those first shots,” said Kos, who finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. “But I tried to turn my mindset and making that first shot — it really helped me get going and start making them again.”

The game was tied 7-7 in the first quarter when Harmsen hit a pair of free throws and Jack Pennington drilled a 3-pointer to start a 14-4 run. 

Harmsen scored 10 points in the first quarter and finished with a game-high 23 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. 

“Everyone moved it to the open guy,” Harmsen said. “It just came down to a lot of good shots and ball movement.”

Will Cavanagh hit four triples in the first half and finished with 14 points. 

“When that first one hits, as a coach, I’m like, ‘oh, here we go.’ And they continued to fall,” Lambert said. “He's a hard worker, he guards their best player, and then hits shots to make it even better.”

Pennington made a deep shot before the halftime buzzer to answer back-to-back threes from Peyton Miller. He finished with 10 points and five assists.

Justice Jones converted a 3-point play in the fourth quarter and scored all seven of his points in the second half. 

West Branch (5-5) defeated Mid-Prairie 44-41 and 50-48 a season ago to claim the RVC South title.

The Bears have suffered a couple blowout losses this year to Wilton and Anamosa, but lost by just one point at Northeast and lost to No. 9 Camanche 50-48 in the final game before the break. 

Mid-Prairie moves to 8-0 in conference play and 9-0 overall. 

“It means a lot,” Harmsen said about the win. “It's always a good game with them. And we're just lucky we came out with a big win.”

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