With a 10 point lead late in the second quarter, the Prairie Home boys basketball team looked to be well on its way to another victory Saturday in the third place game against Smithton in the Otterville Holiday Classic.
However after going up 34-27 at the break, the Panthers forgot there was another half of basketball. As a result, Smithton rallied back to cut the lead to two in the third quarter and then outscored the Panthers 22-12 in the final period for a 65-57 victory.
Prairie Home coach Trever Huth said the team started off the game well getting into the paint and playing great defense.
“In the second quarter we started off being with great basketball on the offense end,” Huth said. “Taking our time and controlling both ends of the floor. Smithton made some adjustments at halftime that brought them back closer in the game and we couldn't make the in-game adjustments to play with them. It comes to wanting to play as a team and we didn't want to do that in the second half like we did in the second quarter.”
While finishing the tournament at 1-2, the Panthers also fell to 6-5 on the season.
Nonetheless, the game was there for the taking for Prairie Home. Although Smithton outscored the Panthers in three out of the four quarters, Prairie Home trailed by just two (12-10) after first period’s end.
However a strong second quarter allowed Prairie Home to lead by double digits at one point. The Panthers also held a 24-15 advantage in the period to lead at the break by a score of 34-27.
But then the third quarter happened as Smithton used its quickness and play inside to rally back with a 16-11 edge to cut the lead to two at 45-43. Meanwhile, in the final period, the Tigers had their best quarter of the ballgame and outscored Prairie Home by 10 (22-12) to pull away late.
Alex Walsh and Aaron Douglas each had 13 points in the game for Smithton while Logan McClain finished the game with 12.
For Prairie Home, Jason Burnett finished the game with 21 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal.
Clayton Pethan chipped in 11 points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists while Kassen Lock added 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals, Blane Petsel nine points, three rebounds, one steal and one assist, Alex Rhode two points and four rebounds, Hunter Shuffield two points, two rebounds and one steal and Ty Stidham with two points, one rebound and one assist.
Prairie Home also finished the game, hitting 23 of 54 shots from the field for 43 percent and 4 of 6 from the foul line for 67 percent.
The Prairie Home boys basketball team will take the floor again on Monday in the opening round of the New Franklin Invitational Tournament. The Panthers, the No. 6 seed, will play third-seeded Westran. If Prairie Home wins, they will play the winner of Sturgeon-Pilot Grove on Thursday, Jan. 9. However, if the Panthers lose, they will play the loser on Wednesday, Jan. 8.