The Prairie City boys fell in overtime, 80-76, Dec. 19 to the Powder Valley Badgers in the Panthers’ intense home-opening nonconference game.
Prairie City came out on fire, netting a 37-17 lead in the first half. However, after the midway break, the Badgers stepped up their defensive intensity.
Prairie City still had a healthy 58-39 lead at the close of the third, 6-foot-4 junior Panther Levi Burke closing it with a steal and a big dunk.
Determined, the Badgers whittled away at the Panthers’ lead in the fourth, starting the final 8 minutes with a steal and 8 points on the board.
Panther Syd Holman, who scored 8 points in the game, fouled out.
Burke and teammate Dorran Wilson dominated the Panthers’ scoring, but were held to 4 points each as the Badgers outscored the Panthers 18-8.
It was in the final 33 seconds of the fourth quarter that the Badgers tied up the score 66-66, sending the game into overtime.
The pressure went up as Powder Valley hit a 3-pointer to start.
Burke scored 2 and sank a free throw.
Wilson fouled a Badger, but a technical foul was then called on Powder Valley.
Standing alone, Wilson made two perfect shots from the free-throw line, making the score 74-73, the Panthers trailing.
Scoring went back and fourth, Wilson sinking a 3-point shot.
He went 2-2 at the free-throw line once more to again move the Panthers within 1 point, 77-76, with 13 seconds remaining.
Badger Omar Benites went 1-2 at the free-throw line with 10.8 seconds left, and in the final 2.8 seconds, Powder Valley made an inbound pass from the Panthers’ side of the court, which was thrown long to a teammate under the Badger basket for the final shot.
Prairie City head coach Sam Workman said it came down to who wanted the win more.
The Panthers will face the Badgers at their home court on Thursday, Dec. 21, at 5 p.m.
“We know how they play, so we’ll practice and work on it tomorrow,” Workman said.
Burke led in scoring with 35 points, followed by Wilson with 33 (including four 3-point shots) and Holman with 8.
Girls lose 65-35
The Prairie City girls also hosted the Badgers Tuesday, taking a 65-35 loss to the No. 2-ranked Powder Valley girls.
“We got beat by a better team,” said head coach Bo Workman.
“We need to move without the ball batter and know where their shooters are,” he said, adding his team needs to work on offense.
Panther player Emily Ennis said the game was a challenge.
“The other team was really tough, but we moved the ball really well,” she said. “We have yet to improve on defense.”
Brianna Zweygardt led the team, scoring each quarter for a total of 12 points.
Samantha Workman contributed 10 points, including a 3-pointer, and she was 2-2 from the free-throw line.
Prairie City boys and girls varsity teams will face Grant Union varsity in John Day on Thursday, Dec. 28, the girls game starting at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:30 p.m.
Prairie City boys
Levi Burke: 35
Dorran Wilson: 33
Syd Holman: 8
Prairie City girls
Brianna Zweygardt: 12
Samantha Workman: 10
Megan Camarena: 6
Cassie Hire: 4
Hailee Wall: 2
Katie Hire: 2