The Prairie Home boys and girls basketball teams had the perfect send off for the seniors Tuesday night at home against the La Monte Vikings.
Although the Panthers still have one game remaining at home Friday night against the Jamestown Eagles, they were dominating to say the least against La Monte while leading from start to finish.
Of course it took the Lady Panthers one quarter to warm up against the Vikings. However it was smooth sailing after that as Prairie Home held a 49-36 advantage for a convincing 63-47 victory.
As for the Prairie Home boys, they jumped out to stay against La Monte while leading from start to finish to win the game by a score of 61-32.
Prairie Home girls coach Linda Scott said it was nice to play on their home court again.
"We broke in our new home uniforms in a great way, plus it was senior night," Scott said. "Winning tonight was a big step forward for our team. We had to play four full quarters of basketball in order to win. I thought we played hard and battled on every play. That is what we talk about in practice, 'battle every play.' Our two seniors had great games. Kendra Stinson had 19 points and Katlynn Watson had 18. Katlynn also had her best all around game. Our two seniors had a dream of a night. As a team we rebounded very well.
"Josie and Makayla controlled the boards for us. La Monte had very few second chances. Makayla was the other member of our team in double figures. We shot 31 free throws for the night. We scored 18 points off of free throws. We are getting to the line more each game. We had a good inside/outside game as well. This was a good win for us. La Monte is a bigger school with a winning record. We played to win tonight and that is what I have been looking for all season."
Of course it didn't hurt that Prairie Home came out and reeled off six straight points and then followed it up with another eight in the first quarter to lead by a score of 14-11.
However, after struggling against La Monte's press late in the opening period and early in the second quarter to watch their lead go from 11 points down to one, the Lady Panthers hit another stretch where they couldn't be stopped offensively while outscoring the Vikings 14-3 over a five minute stretch to extend the lead back to 12 at 28-16 with 2:52 left.
La Monte never got any closer than seven points for the rest of the half as Prairie Home led at the break by a score of 33-24.
Seniors Katlynn Watson and Kendra Stinson also had the hot hand in the first half for the Lady Panthers with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
While outscoring La Monte 19-13 in the second quarter, Prairie Home came out and matched the Vikings with 11 points in the third quarter to make it 44-35.
But even then La Monte kept the game close while cutting Prairie Home's lead to six (41-35) in the third period with 2:44 remaining.
Nonetheless, the Lady Panthers pushed their way to a double-digit lead in the final period after reeling off seven straight points during a minute stretch to go up 53-42 with 5:44 left. That lead swelled to 16 on the game's final basket by sophomore Brooke Emmerich.
While outscoring La Monte 19-12 in the final period, the Lady Panthers also had three players in double figures for the game. Stinson sizzled the nets for a game-high 19 points while Watson added 18, Makayla Zey 13, Josie Flood five and Krista Small and Brooke Emmerich each with four.
About the only thing the Lady Panthers didn't do well last night was shoot free throws. While cutting their turnovers in half on average, Prairie Home struggled to say the least from the foul line by hitting only 12 of 27 shots for 44 percent.
The Prairie Home boys basketball team also dominated La Monte from start to finish. With eight players in the scoring column, the Panthers also outscored the Vikings in each of the four quarters of play.
But better yet, head coach Jesse Oswald said the Panthers held La Monte's leading scorer Seth Johnson to just four points.
"Tonight we honored our seniors before the game and then we went out and got a very big win for them on senior night," Oswald said. "We led from start to finish and put together a complete game. We had eight guys contribute for us offensively and played a very good defensive game. I am also proud that our guys could go out and get a win tonight on senior night, as we recognized our three seniors, Trever Huth, Nathan Small and Chance Whitehurse. All three guys are going to be missed, but it was a good thing we were able to send them off right."
The Panthers, who improved to 13-11 overall, left little doubt against La Monte while leading 17-6 after the first eight minutes of the ballgame and 33-13 at the break.
Senior Trever Huth also left a lasting impression on the Vikings with 13 points in the first half. Sophomore Sam Distler, meanwhile, tossed in 12 points.
As for the second half, Prairie Home came out and scored the game's first-four points and then reeled off eight straight during a two-minute stretch to push the lead to 29 at 49-20 with 37 seconds left.
The Panthers also matched their highest point total for the game by outscoring the Vikings 17-9 in the third period to make it 50-22. Meanwhile, with a running clock in place at the 5:53 mark in the final period up 55-24, Prairie Home also held a 11-10 advantage to win the game by 29.
Distler paced all scorers in the game for Prairie Home with 21 while Huth chipped in 16, Kody Utterback nine, Rayce Kendrick five, Ben Stock and Chance Whitehurse each with three and Klay Holliday and Jonathan Brandes with two points apiece.
For La Monte, Trent Ellis had 16 points.