The Prairie City boys basketball team’s 86-55 league victory over the Long Creek/Ukiah Mountain Lions on Saturday brings the Panthers’ record to 12-0 for the season.
Panther senior Levi Burke led his team with 29 for the night, followed by junior Cole Deiter with 16. Seven others were in on the scoring for Prairie City.
Mountain Lion junior James Kreamier led with 23 for his team, including 5-5 from the free-throw line, followed by junior Ben Combs with 11. Three of their teammates also were in on scoring for the night.
Prairie City is now 2-0 in league, and Long Creek/Ukiah is 1-2.
Prairie City was off to a smooth start when senior Syd Holman batted the tip to Burke who threw it to sophomore Jojari Field for the first 2 points of the game.
Burke racked up 14 points in the first quarter and, standing at 6-foot-4, made a few exciting dunks for the night.
Field earned 5 of his 12 points in the game at the start of the second quarter, and the Panthers had a healthy 53-19 lead at the half.
Long Creek/Ukiah came out on fire after the break.
Mountain Lions James Kreamier, Tiger Zeng, Thomas Kreamier, Combs and Mathéo Buchart combined for 22 points in the third, outshooting Prairie City by 10.
The Panthers dominated the fourth, with Burke draining a 3-pointer to start, followed by 2 from Deiter and 2 from Field off an assist from Burke.
Prairie City scored 11 in the first 3 minutes of play before Long Creek/Ukiah found the basket.
“They had fun, and everybody got to play,” said Prairie City head coach Sam Workman.
Commenting on their 12-0 record, the coach said, “They’re doing something right. They’re coming together, and every game they’re getting a little bit better.” All 14 players scored in the 69-26 league win over the Burnt River Bulls Friday.
Long Creek/Ukiah coach TC Conner said his team moved the ball better Saturday than in previous games, noting it takes ball movement and speed to compete with a team like Prairie City, which is currently ranked No. 2 in state among OSAA’s 1A teams.
Conner said this was his team’s third game in as many days.
“They haven’t faced anyone that tall and athletic before,” he said.
The Mountain Lions are 2-7 overall.
On Thursday, Long Creek/Ukiah fell to the Crane Mustangs 73-52 in Long Creek, then beat Dayville/Monument 64-60. Both were league games.
Conner said his team is making strides, learning to play together rather than as individuals.
“Hopefully we keep going,” Conner said. “The players are realizing they need partners to help build the team.”
Buchart said their team had a tough start to the season, and although they lost to the Panthers, they competed well.
“We were able to communicate more like a team,” he said. “We can be proud of what we’ve done this weekend — we fight and improve our games.”
Jojari Field: 12 points (two 3-pointers)
Jonathan Lawrence: 5 (one 3-pointer)
Jayden Winegar: 4 (one 3-pointer, 1-2 free throws)
Declan Zweygardt: 8 (2-4 free throws)
Levi Burke: 29 (one three-pointer)
Lucas McKinley: 3 (one 3-pointer)
Syd Holman: 5 (one 3-pointer)
Cole Deiter: 16 (2-2 free throws)
Brett Copenhaver: 4
James Kreamier: 23 points (four 3-pointers, 5-5 free throws)
Tiger Zeng: 6 (2-2 free throws)
Ben Combs: 11 (one 3-pointer)
Thomas Kreamier: 8 (two 3-pointers)
Mathéo Buchart: 7 (one 3-pointer)