PRAIRIE CITY — After a nearly two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Prairie City’s boys’ basketball team dominated Enterprise 63-45 on Friday, Dec. 3, in the Panthers’ season opener.

Bo Workman, the Panthers’ head coach, said he did not know what to expect after two years.

“I have an almost brand new team,” Workman said. According to Workman, just a few of the players on the squad had played varsity.

One returning varsity player, senior Marcus Judd, said it has been nice to be back.

“It’s been too long without the sport,” Judd said. “I really missed it, and that’s why we put a lot out there tonight.”

Judd added that while he missed playing, he had some pre-game jitters, but after the Prairie girls’ dramatic double-overtime win, he forgot about them and was pumped to get back on the court.

“That girls game and the double-OT win really got it (nervousness) out of me,” Judd said. “After that, I was excited, roaring and ready to go.”

Indeed, the Panthers exploded out of the gate. At the end of the first quarter, the squad had a commanding 14-7 lead.

Eli Wright nailed five of his 10 field goals in the first quarter. The 6-foot-3 junior finished the game with 21 points, while Wes Voigt, a sophomore, connected on two of his three field goals in the first quarter. In the first game of his high school career, Voigt was four of seven at the free-throw line, for a total of 10 points.

Doyal Lawrence, a junior, put on a shooting clinic in the third quarter in his varsity debut, draining four consecutive three-pointers and sinking both of his free throws to finish the game with 14 points.

Workman said Lawrence’s performance played a significant role in the Panthers’ victory.

“That was a huge deal,” Workman said. “He’s just lights out. When he is on, he is just on.”

Lawrence said the win was a team effort.

“We play together, we work hard together, and we just do our best,” Lawrence said.

For his part, Judd scored nine points on three field goals and was one of two at the free-throw line, while Tucker Wright finished the game with six points on two field goals and connected on two of his three free-throw attempts. In addition, John Titus, a senior, scored three points from beyond the arc.

While Workman liked what he saw from his brand new team Friday, he said the team has a lot of basketball ahead of them.

“It’s going to be a work in progress,” Workman said. “We’re just going to stay humble. We got a ways to go.”

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Steven Mitchell is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at steven@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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