LANCASTER - After getting quite a scare from the host Flying Arrows, the undefeated Prairie du Chien boys basketball team left town with a 34-29 victory last Thursday night, while Lancaster was left with a moral victory of sorts.
Lancaster, who was looking for their first conference win of the season, gave Prairie du Chien (7-0 SWC) all they could handle last Thursday night.
They held the Blackhawks to just four points in the first quarter, and didn’t allow them to score a single point in the second until giving up five points in the final minute of the half.
Prairie was just 3-of-24 from the field in the first half, an awful 12.5 percent.
To the disbelief of those in attendance, coach Justin Burress and his Flying Arrows went into the locker room with a 20-9 halftime lead.
It was a stark contrast from when the two teams met earlier in the year and Prairie dropped a 51-21 loss the Arrows.
There obviously was still some work to do, and one half yet to play.
“We basically prepared for their press, and knew that their pressure was going to be twice as bad,” said coach Burress of his halftime speech. “I just basically told them that the pressure was still on them.”
Actually, the pressure was put on Lancaster in the second half, as Prairie did step up their 1-3-1 full-court press, and gave the Arrows fits in the final 16 minutes.
Lancaster was outscored 14-5 in the third quarter and was left clinging to a 25-23 advantage.
All that changed on the first shot of the fourth quarter when a 3-pointer by Prairie’s Connor Morovits gave them a 26-25 lead.
The Prairie senior made four 3-pointers on the night, three coming in the second half.
In the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, the two teams combined to shoot 1-of-8 from the free throw line, Lancaster going 0-for-3, Prairie 1-for-5.
With 2:58 to play in the game, the two teams were still tied at 29-29.
Prairie ended the final three minutes by making 5-of-6 free throw attempts, while Lancaster was 0-for-1.
On the night, Lancaster made just 7-of-17 (41%) free throw attempts, and missed the front end of three bonus tries in the fourth quarter.
Prairie finished the game making 10-of-18 (55.5%) attempts from the line, 6-of-10 in the fourth quarter.
Adding to Lancaster’s poor free throw shooting was the fact that they committed 24 turnovers on the night.
From the field, coach Burress’ squad made 10-of-28 (36%) field goal attempts, including 2-of-7 (28.5%) from long range.
Finishing with a team-high nine points was Kile Jerrett, while Justin Hore added six points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
“They wanted it, they felt that they had it and that they deserved it, just ultimately we weren’t taking care of the ball good enough and finishing up some of those shots,” said coach Burress.
“There’s no doubt in my mind, or in any of the player’s minds, that it could have been our game.”
The following Saturday, Lancaster visited Benton for a non-conference contest, which they lost, 62-51.
A.J. Day poured in a team-high 17 points, while Jerrett added 13 and Hunter Budack 11.
The Flying Arrows caused Benton to commit 20 turnovers, which is by far the most this season for the Zephyrs.
Lancaster was 20-of-41 (49%) from the field, 7-of-19 (37%) from 3-point land, and was out-rebounded 28-18.
This Friday night, Lancaster (6-12, 0-7 SWC) hosts Richland Center (11-6, 3-4 SWC), then travels to Westby next Monday night.
Prairie du Chien 34,
(from Thursday, Feb. 2)
PdC 4 5 14 11 - 34
Lancaster 6 14 5 4 - 29
Prairie du Chien - Riebe 4, Morovits 15, Garrity 8, Pattison 2, Moret 2, Roach 1, David 2. Totals - 10 10-18 34.
Lancaster - Matt Ihm 1, A.J. Day 5, Justin Hore 6, Kile Jerrett 9, Jordan Recker 2, Hunter Budack 3, Logan Thole 3. Totals - 10 7-17 29.
3-point goals - PdC: Morovits 4; L: Day 1, Jerrett 1. Team fouls - PdC: 19; L: 19. Fouled out - Mezera (PdC), Ihm (L). Technical fouls - Graewin (PdC).
Benton 62, Lancaster 51
(from Saturday, Feb. 4)
Lancaster 13 13 12 13 - 51
Benton 16 15 14 17 - 62
Lancaster - A.J. Day 17, Justin Hore 6, Kile Jerrett 13, Hunter Budack 11, Jordan Recker 4. Totals - 20 4-5 51.
Benton - Laine Carver 3, Nick Soppe 3, Alex Droessler 20, David Neis 18, Mitchell Brant 18. Totals - 25 11-14 62.
3-point goals - L: Day 2, Jerrett 3, Budack 2; B: Carver 1. Team fouls - L: 19; B: 9. Fouled out - Matt Ihm (L).