Prep Basketball

Mallory McDermott leads No. 8 Cedar Rapids Prairie to upset of No. 3 Cedar Falls

Western Illinois commit scores 11 fourth-quarter points as Hawks upend previously-undefeated Tigers, 46-41

Cedar Rapids Prairie Hawks
Cedar Rapids Prairie Hawks

CEDAR RAPIDS — After three quarters, the Cedar Rapids Prairie girls’ basketball team was teetering on the brink.

Class 5A No. 3 Cedar Falls held the eighth-ranked Hawks to just six third-quarter points and had opened up a six-point lead at 35-29, its largest of the game.

All it took was some stout fourth-quarter defense and one special offensive performer to rescue the Hawks.

“That’s a big win for us,” Prairie junior Mallory McDermott said after she scored 11 of her game-high 16 points in the fourth quarter as the Hawks upended previously-unbeaten Cedar Falls, 46-41, in a top-10 Mississippi Valley Conference clash Tuesday night at Prairie High School. “I think it shows us we can play with anyone in the state because that’s a team who has been at the top for a long time and we want to be there, too.”

Led by 5-foot-11 sophomore reserve post player Hailey Cooper, Prairie (8-2, 4-1 MVC) switched to a 1-3-1 zone defense for the final frame. As Cedar Falls struggled to find passing lanes, McDermott put on an offensive show. She scored 11 consecutive points in the middle of a 15-2 Prairie burst for a 44-37 lead with just over three minutes to go.

“I think that really bothered them,” said McDermott, a Western Illinois commit who spent three elementary years in the Cedar Falls school system. “We changed it up and I just think that we played with a lot of energy, getting steals.”

Cedar Falls (10-1, 5-1) got within three points at 44-41 with 30 seconds left in the game, but a basket by Prairie junior Sidney McCrea with 5.1 ticks remaining sealed Prairie’s first victory over Cedar Falls since the 2012-13 season.

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“It was just a credit to the kids,” Prairie Coach Josh Bentley said. “They stayed with it. They just kept doing what we were doing. … And then McDermott, she came through. She played very calm and tough. ... It just comes down to our kids sticking with it.”

McCrea finished with 11 points for Prairie, while 6-foot senior post player Quinn Deahl grabbed seven rebounds.

Cedar Falls junior Emerson Green — a 5A first team all-state selection last season — led the Tigers with 15 points and seven rebounds.

AT CEDAR RAPIDS PRAIRIE

Class 5A No. 8 Cedar Rapids Prairie 46, No. 3 Cedar Falls 41

CEDAR FALLS (41): Sarah Albaugh 2 0-0 6, Anaya Barney 5 0-0 10, Emerson Green 5 2-2 15, Tjaden Petersen 1 0-0 3, McKenna Gleason 1 0-0 2, Lexie Godfrey 0 0-0 0, Madison Hurley 0 0-0 0, Akacia Brown 2 1-2 5, Totals 16 3-4 41.

C.R. PRAIRIE (46): Sarah Schmitt 1 0-0 2, Sidney McCrea 4 2-2 11, Makenna Moenk 2 0-0 4, Mallory McDermott 5 5-6 16, Jenna Leggat 0 0-0 0, Rachael Kilpatrick 3 0-0 7, Hailey Cooper 0 0-0 0, Quinn Deahl 3 0-0 6, Totals 18 7-8 46.

Cedar Falls 12 10 13 6—41

C.R. Prairie 12 11 6 17—46

Halftime — Prairie, 23-22. Three-point goals — Cedar Falls 6 (Green 3, Albaugh 2, Petersen 1), Prairie 3 (Kilpatrick 1, McCrea 1, McDermott 1). Rebounds — Cedar Falls 28 (Godfrey 7, Green 7), Prairie 22 (Deahl 7). Total fouls — Cedar Falls 11, Prairie 6. Fouled out — None.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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