The fast-starting Prairie City Panther boys roared past the Dayville/Monument Tigers 74-27 at the Monument basketball court on Saturday.
The bleachers were full with spectators cheering loudly for the Grant County teams in what was a fast-paced, physical match.
Prairie City is No. 4 among OSAA’s 1A teams and is 13-0 on the season, 3-0 in the High Desert League, making them a formidable foe for Dayville/Monument, which is 5-9 on the season and 1-3 in league.
Cole Deiter led the Panthers with 14 points followed by Syd Holman with 13.
Donovan Schafer and Drew Wilburn led the Tigers with 6 points each.
Panther Jayden Winegar was first on the scoreboard, landing a 3-pointer.
Dayville/Monument’s strong defense was no match for Prairie City’s height. Deiter, 6-foot-5, scored two in a row, followed by Panther Levi Burke, 6-foot-4, with 2.
Tiger Drew Wilburn scored 2 points off an assist from Cade Milton, and Donovan Schafer added another 2 halfway into the first quarter.
With less than three minutes to go, Panther Syd Holman nabbed the ball from the Tigers and dunked on a fast break, and teammate Jojari Field — the shortest, but possibly the fastest, Panther — added three 2-pointers late in the quarter.
Prairie City led 23-6 going into the second and outscored the home team 14-7 in the second.
Prairie City denied Dayville/Monument all but one 3-point shot in the third quarter made by Tiger Gabe Walker-Hopkins, the Panthers taking a 59-16 lead going into the fourth.
More of the Panther bench made an appearance in the final eight minutes.
The intensity didn’t die down. One Panther appeared to have his hair pulled, and another had an elbow to the face.
Lucas McKinley and Jonathan Lawrence sank 3-pointers for the Panthers, and Declan Zweygardt, Brett Copenhaver and Marcus Judd also scored 2 each.
Tigers Wesley Adams and DJ Howell got in on the scoring in the final minute of play. Howell also added 1-2 at the free-throw line earlier in the quarter, and Hand was 2-2 and Wilburn was 2-3 at the free-throw line.
Prairie City head coach Sam Workman said Dayville/Monument made it a high-pressure game.
“They played tough defense that was good for my boys,” he said.
Burke said, “They play a different style than we are — super physical, fast and all over the place,” which he said teaches his team to stay composed.
Prairie City hosts the Crane Mustangs at 7:30 p.m. Friday and the Harper Hornets at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Tiger head coach Jeff Schafer said his team never gave up.
“Donovan and JT did well rebounding,” he said. “They work hard on the glass.”
He said he was proud of his team for their hustle and working well together. He noted Howell added a spark in the second half.
“Being outsized, they worked hard,” the coach said of his team.
“I thought we played more as a team,” said player Donovan Schafer. “It’s hard to get around a team like that. We’re going to keep working and hopefully get them next time.”
Dayville/Monument fell to Crane 55-30 Friday on the road. The Tigers will face the Burnt River Bulls at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Unity, and they host Four Rivers at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Monument.
Jojari Field: 9 (one 3-pointer)
Jonathan Lawrence: 3 (one 3-pointer)
Jayden Winegar: 7 (one 3-pointer)
Brandon Horrell: 1-1 free throw
Marcus Judd: 1-1 free throw
Declan Zweygardt: 2
Levi Burke: 11 (1-1 free throw)
Lucas McKinley: 9 (1 3-pointer, 2-3 free throws)
Syd Holman: 13 (1-2 free throws)
Cole Deiter: 14
Lane Williams: 2
Brett Copenhaver: 2
Gabe Walker-Hopkins: 3 (one 3-pointer)
Mark Thomas: 3 (one 3-pointer)
JT Hand: 4 (2-4 free throws)
Drew Wilburn: 6 (2-5 free throws)
Donovan Schafer: 6
DJ Howell: 3 (1-2 free throws)
Wesley Adams: 2