The Prairie Home boys basketball team proved for at least one quarter, possibly two, that they were just as good as the Otterville Eagles Tuesday night in CCAA action at Otterville.
Although the Eagles were fresh off from winning the conference tournament over the weekend in Bunceton, the Panthers came out and outscored Otterville by six (14-8). As for the rest of the game, the Eagles settled down somewhat while rallying back with a 11-3 advantage in the second quarter to lead Prairie Home by two at 19-17. Unfortunately for the Panthers, they never got any closer in the ballgame as Otterville came out and held a 38-25 scoring edge in the second half for the victory.
While the loss dropped Prairie Home to 10-10 overall and 0-2 in the CCAA conference, head coach Jesse Oswald said this was another hard fought game where they just had a big letdown at some point during the game.
“We jumped out to an early lead and took it to them and then we got too relaxed at the start of the second quarter,” Oswald said. “Defensively we wanted to contain Ryan Benny, which I thought we did, and keep their big Jake Gaskell from having a game. They had a combined 15 points, but we allowed a couple of other players to get loose and have too big of a game against us. We put ourselves in a position in the third quarter to start making a run, but we had a lot of missed opportunities inside, as well as poor free throw shooting. We have to improve on making the easy ones within 10 feet and taking advantage of free throws. The kids played hard all game, but we had too many mistakes and gave the ball away on too many possessions.”
Justin Halgren had the game-high for Otterville, 12-6 on the season, with 24 points while Devin Rockett chipped in 14.
For Prairie Home, Sam Distler tossed in 15 points while Trever Huth added 11, Rayce Kendrick and Kody Utterback each with seven and Klay Holliday with two.
As for the Prairie Home girls, they also fell on the road against Otterville 50-27.
The Lady Panthers, dropping to 7-12 on the season, trailed Otterville 22-16 at the break in what was shaping out to be a competitive ballgame. Unfortunately for Prairie Home, they had no answer for the Lady Eagles in the second half while being outscored 28-11.
Prairie Home coach Linda Scott said the girls did not want to shoot the ball. “We wanted to make one too many passes or dribble the ball one too many dribbles before shooting,” Scott said. “We only shot the ball 14 times in the second half. It was another physical game for us. Our lack of strength really showed tonight because Otterville pushed us around big time. We did rebound well on the defensive end, however. Freshman Makayla Zey had 10 rebounds on the night while Josie Flood and Ally Small, two other freshmen, had three rebounds also. Our three freshmen did an outstanding job rebounding.
Page 2 of 2 - “We need to want to score. I thought we broke through that weakness the last few games. We will work on finding five players that are not afraid to drive to the basket against pressure and shoot the ball. On a good note, we did go 7 for 11 from the line. We have been shooting well from the free-throw line, but we just need to get there more. It wasn’t our best effort tonight, but I thought Josie Flood had a good all-around game. Josie played physical and that is what I am looking for from every player.”
Stephanie Oswald had 18 points and Hannah Stone 17 for Otterville, who improved to 13-7 overall.
For Prairie Home, Kendra Stinson had 15 points and one rebound while Katlynn Watson added seven points, two rebounds, two steals and one assist, Ally Small with two points, six rebounds and one assist, Amber Carmichael with two points, Josie Flood with one point and five rebounds, Makayla Zey with 10 rebounds, one steal and one assist, Brooke Emmerich with two rebounds and one assist and Krista Small and Kim Hettinger each with one rebound.
Prairie Home also finished the game hitting 9 of 35 shots from the field for 26 percent and 7 of 11 from the foul line for 64 percent.