The 1A Prairie City Panther boys brought their A game to John Day on Thursday, Dec. 28, beating the 2A Grant Union Prospectors 73-70 in an intense nonleague competition.
After the cross-county teams tied the score a few times early in the first quarter, Panthers took a 17-14 lead.
Panther Dorran Wilson shot the lights out in the second, scoring 16 of his 28 points in the game.
Although Grant Union players Zack Deiter, Cauy Weaver, Wade Reimers and Duane Stokes each landed a three-pointer in the quarter, Prairie City ran away with a 43-34 lead to close the first half.
Grant Union got down to business after halftime with Stokes scoring. Deiter grabbed a steal and Reimers scored, then Deiter added two.
Cole Deiter scored twice to bring Grant Union within one point, then Kellen Shelley sank two for a 46-45 lead.
The teams switched leads four times with Grant Union closing the third ahead 51-50.
Reimers sank a two-pointer at the beginning of the fourth, then Prairie City went on a scoring rampage.
Panther Levi Burke, who had scored two points in the first and third quarters, came out in full force.
Burke, Wilson and Syd Holman combined for 15 points before Grant Union found the basket again, Prairie City leading 67-55.
Scoring went back and forth, then Prospector Cole Deiter scored twice and teammate Kellen Shelley went 2-2 at the free-throw line.
With just 22.8 seconds left in the game, Grant Union worked to close the gap with three three-point shots.
Stokes shot a three, and with 11.8 seconds left Reimers scored.
Wilson was fouled but came up empty at the free-throw line, then Shelley scored the final three in the last three seconds.
Grant Union head coach Kelsy Wright said Prairie City came prepared.
“I’m proud of my boys,” he said. “They just couldn’t hold on.”
He added, “Prairie City was ready to play, and they pulled out all the stops.”
Prairie City head coach Sam Workman said his team played hard and with intensity for the entire game.
“They moved the ball around, and everybody had their chances,” he said. “We just came out to play tonight.”
Wilson said it was a fun game, and he was glad they had the opportunity to face Grant Union.
“It was a really good team win,” he said. “All five starters scored , and we worked together really well and held our composure.”
Burke said he’d been looking forward to playing Grant Union for three years.
“It’s always fun playing them,” he said. “They’re a class act and always have been.”
Burke added, “It was a good team win with lots of assists, that’s what was really good about it. Everybody stepped up to the plate.”
Next up for Grant Union are two road games.
The Prospectors face Weston-McEwen at 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4, in Athena and Lakeview at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6.
The Panthers will host Monument/Dayville at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6, in Prairie City for the Panthers’ first league game of the season.
Holman said he hopes his team plays with “more intensity and better defense, going out and going hard.”
Dorran Wilson: 28 points
Levi Burke: 15
Syd Holman: 14
Lucas McKinley: 12 (four three-pointers)
Jojari Field: 4
Wade Reimers: 18
Kellen Shelley: 15
Cole Deiter: 13
Duane Stokes: 10
Cauy Weaver: 9
Zack Deiter: 5