There were no surprises in the Prairie City boys’ win over Monument-Dayville in Prairie City on Jan. 6.
The Tigers, with four freshmen and one sophomore in the starting lineup, were 0-9 coming into the game. The 8-3 Panthers were coming off a big win over 2A Grant Union on Dec. 28, defeating the Prospectors 73-70.
In the first High Desert League game of the season for both teams, the Panthers easily defeated the Tigers 75-29. The younger Monument-Dayville team was overwhelmed in the first quarter, falling behind 30-2, but they did better once Prairie City began to put more JV players on the court.
The score was 45-15 at the half, but the Tigers could put only 4 points on the board in the third quarter, falling behind 66-19.
“Prairie City is a heck of a team with lots of skill,” Tiger coach Jeff Schafer said. “They know how to play the game.”
Senior Dorran Wilson led the Panthers with 26 points, including one 3-pointer. He made several opportunistic steals and easily slashed through the Monument-Dayville defenders for the quick layup.
Junior Levi Burke dominated the boards for the Panthers and put in 20 points. Freshman Jojari Field dazzled the home crowd with four 3-pointers, ending the game with 14 points.
Rounding out the Prairie City scoring were junior Syd Holman with 9 points and Lucas McKinley and Declan Zweygardt with 3 apiece. The Panthers were five of seven from the free-throw line in a relatively clean game with few fouls.
Freshman Donovan Schafer led the Tigers with 8 points, followed by freshman JT Hand with 6, sophomore Drew Wilburn with 5, freshman Mark Thomas and senior Rafael Dualibi with 4 apiece and freshman DJ Howell with 2. The Tigers were one of five from the free-throw line.
“We’re a young team, but the future is good,” coach Schafer said about the Tigers. “We just need to fight through this year.”
Schafer said the Tigers can play well against young teams, and they’ll have that chance in a non-league away game against the Grant Union JV on Jan. 9, past press time. After that is a league game in Monument against the 0-5 Burnt River Bulls at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 12.
The Panthers have three league games lined up: the 6-7 Crane Mustangs away at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 12, the 2-3 Harper Hornets away at 3:30 p.m. MT Jan. 13 and the 0-7 Burnt River Bulls at home at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 16.
“Crane will be tough,” Prairie City Coach Sam Workman said. “You can’t underestimate anyone in the league.”