Harmsen scores 33 as Mid-Prairie wins third straight

By Jeff Yoder
Posted 12/12/20

On Friday, Mid-Prairie built a 46-36 halftime lead over North Cedar with its offense.

Then it won the game with its defense.

The Golden Hawks struggled offensively early in the second half, but …

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Harmsen scores 33 as Mid-Prairie wins third straight

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On Friday, Mid-Prairie built a 46-36 halftime lead over North Cedar with its offense.

Then it won the game with its defense.

The Golden Hawks struggled offensively early in the second half, but allowed just two made field goals in the third quarter while pulling away for a 71-55 win over the Knights.

Carter Harmsen led the Golden Hawks with 33 points on six 3-pointers, but it was one of his offensive rebounds that helped end a four-minute scoring drought in the third quarter.

Alex Bean took advantage of the extra possession and laid the ball in to end an 8-0 North Cedar run. Harmsen scored the next seven Mid-Prairie points and then assisted on a basket by Ethan Kos to put the Golden Hawks ahead 57-41.

“I think we were just kind of rushed, our spacing was poor,” Mid-Prairie coach Daren Lambert said about the slow start to the second half.

“Once we got our spacing down, the big thing was getting the ball into the high post and putting them in tough situations where guys had to make decisions on who to close out.

“We survived that, because defensively we got it done, which we didn’t do in the first two quarters.”

While the Golden Hawks weren’t as locked in defensively in the first half, the offense had success inside and out.

Aidan Rath scored twice after offensive rebounds in the first quarter and had all 10 of his points in the first half.

The Golden Hawks made seven 3-pointers in the first half, with five coming from Harmsen.

“We had a lot of ball movement, working it in to the post and our posts had good vision, kicking it to the corners — which got me a lot of open shots,” Harmsen said.

Will Cavanagh hit a 3-pointer to put Mid-Prairie ahead 41-26 in the second quarter. After a North Cedar turnover on the next play, Cavanagh threw a long pass to hit Luke Boyse in stride for a layup which gave the Golden Hawks their largest lead of the first half at 17 points.

“Will does all the little things that make things happen,” Lambert said. “He’s led us in assists, he’s led us in rebounds, he hits open shots. A lot of it is just effort plays and he’s just a smart player.”

He also cleans up missed dunks. 

With an offensive rebound and layup after Harmsen's breakaway jam came off the rim, Cavanagh finished with seven points, four assists and three rebounds.

Mid-Prairie made just one 3-pointer in the second half, but still outscored the Knights 25-19 over the final 16 minutes.

“Their defense was definitely better in the second half, but I think it was just being aggressive,” said Harmsen who scored all but nine of the Golden Hawks’ second-half points.

“We got to the hole and got some open layups and then they ended up fouling us too.”

Harmsen was 11-18 from the floor with four rebounds, four assists, three steals and a blocked shot.

“He’s not just a scorer, his length allows us to make tough situations for opposing teams’ guards,” Lambert said.

“He has a lot of trust in his teammates, he’s been playing with these guys forever and he knows if he’s got multiple guys in his face, someone’s going to be open. His basketball IQ has grown over the last year. He understands the game and he’s a smart basketball player.”

Bean finished with 10 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Jack Pennington had seven assists and two steals. Kos had nine points and led Mid-Prairie with nine rebounds.

“There’s still work to be done,” Lambert said.

“But that’s what is pleasing as a coach – we’re pushing them to get better because that’s our job, but they really want to get better. It’s that ‘never be satisfied, never be complacent’ attitude and I think that’s why they’re going to have some success this year.”

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