The Prairie City Lady Panthers hung on to win 43-42 over the Monument/Dayville Tigers Tuesday, in a game that brought thrills down to the last second at Monument court.
It was a one- to two-point contest throughout, but Prairie City’s Cassie Hire went 2-2 at the free-throw line to put the Panthers ahead, 43-40, with 4.6 seconds left.
Back in the game after a timeout, Monument/Dayville’s Faythe Schafer was fouled and, keeping her cool, also scored two at the free-throw line.
The Tigers made a valiant attempt to score in those final seconds, but time ran out, giving the Panthers a second victory over the Tigers in less than a week’s time.
Prairie City last beat Monument/Dayville 59-46 last Friday at the Panther court.
In Tuesday’s game, the Lady Tigers were up 12-10 in the first. The team continued to change leads several times in the second quarter.
With about three minutes left in the half, the teams were tied at 16-16. Panther Sarah Ennis took over the ball and scored on a fast break. Then Tiger Kendall Hettinga scored two.
Panther Brianna Zweygardt also scored two, to put Prairie City ahead 20-18.
The Panthers had a couple rebounds, but Schafer stole the ball, was fouled, then hit 2-2 at the free-throw line to even the score 20-20 at the break.
The second half was another nail-biter for the fans who filled the stands.
Monument/Dayville’s Kendall Hettinga scored six points in the third, and Ravyn Walker scored a three-pointer in the third and another in the fourth.
“It was an exciting game,” said Tiger head coach Taylor Schmadeka. “Both teams played well and battled.”
“We had a shot to win it, and a couple baskets didn’t quite fall for us when we needed them,” he said. “We had a good performance out of Faythe Schafer, and senior Kendall Hettinga had some big shots in the second half to keep us in the game.”
He said the team would learn from the mistakes and prepare to face Adrian on Friday.
“Prairie City is a well-coached team, and they play hard, and we’re looking forward to playing them at districts, possibly in the first round,” he said.
Prairie City head coach Bo Workman said he was proud of the way his team kept its intensity up on defense.
“It could have gone either way,” he said. “They kept their heads, battled and stayed in there and kept their mental state right. We’ll probably see them (Monument/Dayville) again at districts, and it’s going to be a battle.”
The Lady Panthers are scheduled to host Burnt River at 6 p.m. Friday, followed by the varsity boys at 7:30 p.m. They’ll travel to Crane Saturday, facing the Mustangs at 2 p.m., and the boys game follows at 3:30 p.m. JV games start at 12 p.m.
The Lady Tigers travel to Adrian Friday, the girls playing at 5 p.m., followed by the boys at 6:30 p.m. A JV girls game starts at 3:30 p.m.
The Tiger varsity boys host Huntington in Monument on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.