Prairie City basketball fans were on the edge of their seats as the Panther girls started closing the gap on the Adrian Antelopes in the second half of Thursday night’s district tournament game, but Adrian held on for the 38-34 win.
The Panthers were down 17-10 in the first and 25-18 going into halftime.
The 7-point deficit didn’t drag Prairie City down. In the third, the Panthers put their foot on the gas.
After Adrian’s Sadie Speelmon landed a 3-pointer, Prairie City’s Rilee Emmel, Hailie Wall and Samantha Workman combined for 10 points to tie the score 28-28 with Emmel sinking two 3-point shots.
Adrian scored 6 points for a 34-28 lead going into the fourth.
The battle got heated in the final eight minutes with Panther Abbey Pfefferkorn scoring outside the arc. Emmel scored a 2-pointer and Wall added 1-2 at the free-throw line to get within 2 points of Adrian.
Prairie City had a couple steals but couldn’t find the basket, while Adrian scored 2 more points for the win.
The Panthers entered the contest seeded No. 3 on the west side, while Adrian was seeded No. 2 for the east.
“They played tough,” Prairie City head coach Bo Workman said of his team. “Abbey (Pfefferkorn) stepped up big. They all played hard and didn’t give up.”
Adrian had 12 players, compared to Prairie City’s eight, and Workman described their players as “long and tall.”
“I think we’ll get ‘em next time,” he said.
Adrian was led by head coach LaDawn Bayes, and Speelmon was named player of the game.
Prairie City defeated the east’s No. 3-seed Harper in the consolation round on Friday 42-13 to end their season.
Prairie City stats
Rilee Emmel: 13 points (three 3-pointers)
Katie Hire: 8 (two 3-pointers)
Samantha Workman: 5 (1-2 free throws)
Hailee Wall: 5 (1-2 free throws)
Abbey Pfefferkorn: 3 (one 3-pointer)
Sadey Speelmon: 14 (two 3-pointers)
Roby Young: 8 (4-4 free throws)
Stella Nichols: 6
Grace Morton: 4
Lizzy Nelson: 4
Liz Morford: 2