The Prairie City Panthers girls basketball team held on for a 35-31 win over the Dayville/Monument Tigers Feb. 5 in Prairie City.
“It’s always a battle” when it comes to competing with Dayville/Monument, said Prairie City head coach Bo Workman.
“We’re pretty equal, and they’re always pretty competitive with us,” he said.
Prairie City had a good handle on the game with an 8-2 lead in the first quarter and 17-7 at the half.
At one point in the third, after Prairie City junior Emily Ennis landed a 3-pointer, the Panthers led by 13 points.
The Tigers kept their intensity up and narrowed the Panthers’ lead to 6 points going into the final eight minutes.
Prairie City’s Hailee Wall started off with a 2-pointer in the fourth.
A short time later, Tiger Faythe Schafer wrangled the ball away to score 2, Kyla Emerson added 1-2 at the free-throw line and Courtney Nichols drained a 3-pointer to bring Dayville/Monument within 2 points of Prairie City, 32-30.
Panther Rilee Emmel brought Prairie City fans to their feet when she scored a 2-point shot with about 12 seconds to go.
In a final effort, Schafer added 1 point at the free-throw line with 9.5 seconds to go. Then Panther Katie Hire added 1 point for Prairie City.
“I definitely think it was a confidence booster for us, and I think it will help us going into districts with a more positive feeling,” Ennis said.
“The first half we were slow and not making shots,” said Tiger Denali Twehues. “I thought the third quarter we came out strong and aggressive. We’re going to move on and look forward to districts next weekend.”
Dayville/Monument head coach Taylor Schmadeka said shots that would normally go in for them didn’t fall.
“(We) had a good third quarter to get us back into the game, as well as a strong fourth, but just not enough to close the game,” he said. “I’m very proud of the girls for coming back when we struggled in the first half — that is not easy to do. Prairie City played a tough game on their home court and are well coached.”
Coach Workman said his team played well defensively.
“Rilee played good defense up top against the guards,” he said.
“Hailee Wall plays strong down low, and Abbey Pfefferkorn had some good offensive rebounds for the night,” he said. “Sam Workman (Samantha) always gets to the basket and finishes well.”
He said his team’s strongest quality is unity.
”They worked really good as a team and that’s how we approach things — teamwork is No. 1,” he said.
The Panthers defeated Long Creek/Ukiah 51-20 in Long Creek on Friday, and beat Burnt River 45-24 in Prairie City during the Panthers’ senior recognition game.
Dayville/Monument hosted two games in Monument, defeating Harper 29-18 on Friday and beating Long Creek/Ukiah 47-22 on Saturday during the Tigers’ senior night.
The 1A High Desert League Tournament is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 14-16, at Grant Union Junior-Senior High School in John Day.
Dayville/Monument, No. 2 seed for the west side, will face the Harper Hornets, No. 3 seed for the east side, at 1 p.m. Thursday. The winner will play the Jordan Valley Mustangs (No. 1, east) at 6 p.m. Friday.
Prairie City (No. 3, west) will face the Adrian Antelopes (No. 2, east) at 7 p.m. Thursday. The winner will play the Crane Mustangs (No. 1, west) at 1 p.m. Friday.
The winners of Friday’s games will play in the championship match, deciding the first and second seed to state. The losers of Friday’s games will play each other at 11 a.m. Saturday for the third seed to state.
There will be playoff games on Feb. 20 and Feb. 23 to decide who competes in the OSAA Girls Basketball State Championship tournament scheduled for Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 28-March 2, at Baker High School.
Prairie City vs. Monument Dayville
Samantha Workman: 10 points
Hailee Wall: 9
Rilee Emmel: 8 (2-2 free throws)
Emily Ennis: 3 (one 3-pointer)
Katie Hire: 3 (1-2 free throws)
Abbey Pfefferkorn: 2
Faythe Schafer: 11 (1-5 free throws)
Denali Twehues: 7 (1-2 free throws)
Kyla Emerson: 6 (4-8 free throws)
Courtney Nichols: 5
Aubreianna Osborne: 2