The Washington Demons were playing not just for a win against Mid-Prairie, but on Pink out night they were playing for their coach.
The Demons wore shirts that said playing for coach with pink letters, coach being head coach Phil Long who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
The Demons had lost their last two conference games, and their offense had been stalled, and with Mt. Pleasant coming up the Demon’s were looking to get back on track.
The first quarter was a mirror of the last game these two teams played, physical and low scoring as after one the score was 7-4. In the second quarter things opened up for both teams, as they figured out each others schemes, Mariah Swartzentruber nailed three of her four shots from behind the arc, but this would be her only points of the game, and it was Mid-Prairie who took the lead into half 20-19.
In the second half the offense was the talk of the show, as Lauren Kimball nailed a three point shot along with Natalie Enfield and Dema Giardino to start giving the Demon some offensive confidence, but Mid-Prairie wouldn’t be denied as Olivia Lugar also nailed a three to keep the game close as Washington had the lead after three 34-29.
Mid-Prairie wouldn’t be denied, as they put up an offensive onslaught to make a comeback, only being countered by five points all scored by the Demon’s Beth Dillon, Mid-Prairie tied it up and we went to overtime tied at 39.
In OT no scoring was happening and then Natalie Enfield took a three point shot and drained it, for the rest of the overtime Mid-Prairie had to play catch-up and couldn’t make up the points falling 46-44.
Washington was led by Stephanie Fishback with 11 and nine from Lauren Kimball.
Demon head coach Phil Long said this is what the team needed as a boost before Friday.
“Had we lost this one I think the kids would have gone in the tank on me in self-belief, but now they have that little sparkle in their eye, with the eye on the prize,” Long said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way I grew up with the Washington, Mt. Pleasant rivalry, I talked to the football players about how important it is, and to have it on your floor, the last regular season game of the year for all of the marbles, it is like a book, like someone is writing the movie version of it.”
The Golden Hawks were led by nine from Mariah Swartzentruber and seven from Mallory McArtor.
Mid-Prairie head coach Marc Pennington said his team has to play all 32 minutes in the game to get a win.
“I expect to play hard, and that is one thing that has been our trademark for four, five or six years, we play hard every night, but at some point you have to play well,” Pennington said. “We played well in the first, we played really well in the first, but we are not good enough to play six minutes in the second, we have to play 32 minutes.”
Washington moves on to play for a conference Championship on Friday against Mt. Pleasant while Mid-Prairie plays their first round in the playoffs against South Tama on Saturday.