After dropping a two-point decision Saturday in the championship game in the Wildcat Classic in Slater, the Fayette Falcons used that loss as a reminder Monday night while hosting the Prairie Home Panthers.
The reminder of how close they were against No. 1 Sedalia Sacred Heart worked as Fayette came out with a purpose and never relinquished the lead en route to a 73-56 victory.
While the loss dropped Prairie Home to 13-7 on the season, head coach Dalton Armontrout said the boys just weren’t themselves against Fayette.
“We just weren’t into the game,” Armontrout said. “We had no energy and no intensity and Fayette shot us out of our zone. We didn’t contest the threes and when we did they didn’t get them off very well. We couldn’t get into a rhythm offensively and we didn’t box very well.  This was probably one of our worst games of the year.”
Finding junior Blake Dawson also proved to be impossible at times. Dawson finished the game with a team-high 25 points, 15 of which came behind the three-point arc.
It was also Dawson who led the charge in the first quarter with three threes as the Falcons led Prairie Home 18-11.
Of course it didn’t help that Prairie Home hit on only 3 of 9 shots from the field in the first or that they had five turnovers.
Fayette also turned up the pressure in the second quarter by reeling off eight straight points to extend the lead to 15 at 26-11 with 5:48 left.
While finishing with only three field goals again in the second quarter, the Panthers also waited nearly three minutes for their first field goal when junior Creed Flood buried a three from the top of the key.
That three also sparked a run by Prairie Home, which went from trailing by 15 to cut the lead to nine at 28-19 with 4:32 remaining.
Unfortunately for Prairie Home, they never got any closer in the ballgame as Fayette closed out the half with a 16-10 advantage to lead by a score of 44-29.
The second half was pretty much a carbon copy of the first as the Falcons outscored Prairie Home 16-11 in the third to push the lead up to 20 at 60-40. Meanwhile, after going up 68-44 with 4:01 left in the game, the Falcons hit a dry spell as Prairie Home came back and reeled off eight straight to cut the lead to 68-52.
Fayette didn’t waiver while holding a 5-4 advantage for the rest of the game to win by 17.
Ross Kendrick and Creed Flood tied for the team high for Prairie Home with 14 points each. Flood also had six rebounds, three assists and two steals while Kendrick grabbed seven rebounds.
Kassen Lock had 12 points, five rebounds, two steals and two assists while Wyatt Borghardt added nine points, four rebounds and two assists, Ty Stinson four points, one rebound and one steal, Clayton Pethan three points, five rebounds, one steal and one assist and Sage Eichenburch and Alex Rhode each with one rebound.
The Panthers finished the game shooting 40 percent from the field and 56 percent from the line.