Prep Basketball

Lauren Zacharias' late basket sends Iowa City West past Prairie

Women of Troy send Hawks to their second last-second defeat, 55-53

IOWA CITY — Lauren Zacharias hates overtime.

“I just don’t like it,” she said. “It’s so nerve-racking.”

So is a tie game in the final seconds. But Zacharias handled that like a pro.

Her running, contested 7-footer just before the buzzer sent Class 5A seventh-ranked Iowa City West past No. 9 Cedar Rapids Prairie, 55-53, in a Mississippi Valley Conference girls’ basketball game Friday night at West High School.

“I’m afraid that’s how it’s going to be in the Valley all season among quite a few teams,” West Coach B.J. Mayer said after the Women of Troy (2-0 overall, 1-0 MVC) won their 10th straight game dating back to last season.

West held the ball for the final 1:18, then Zacharias drove from the right wing, elevated and scored with 3 seconds left. It was the final punctuation mark of a dandy that featured six ties and 15 lead changes.

Prairie (1-2, 0-1) suffered its second last-second loss in seven days.

“We just need to keep shining and keep working,” Prairie Coach Josh Bentley said. “It hurts that we didn’t get a shot in our last two possessions.”

Sarah Schmitt’s two free throws put Prairie in front, 53-51, with 2:55 to go, then the Hawks had possession with a two-point lead, but turned it over.

Audrey Koch’s two foul shots tied it for West with 1:47 left, then Prairie turned it over again.

Prairie held the largest lead of the game — seven points — on three occasions in the third quarter, but Koch scored eight straight points (including a pair of 3-pointers), and it was back and forth the rest of the way.

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“My teammates did an amazing job getting me the ball in position to score,” said Koch, a sophomore who led all scorers with a career-high 23 points. “At the end, the goal was to run out the clock and either win it or go to overtime.”

But Zacharias hates overtime. So she went out and won it.

Cailyn Morgan added 13 points for West, and Zacharias scored 12.

Sidney McCrea led Prairie with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Sarah Schmitt tallied 15 points. 

IOWA CITY WEST 55, CEDAR RAPIDS PRAIRIE 53

At Iowa City West

C.R. PRAIRIE (53): Sarah Schmitt 4-12 4-6 15, Sidney McCrea 5-9 4-6 18, Mallory McDermott 2-7 2-3 6, Rachael Kilpatrick 0-0 1-2 1, Quinn Deahl 2-7 0-0 4, Hailey Cooper 2-2 1-1 5, Jenna Leggat 0-0 0-0 0, Makenna Moenk 2-6 0-0 4. Totals 17-43 12-18 53.

IOWA CITY WEST (55): Cailyn Morgan 6-17 1-5 13, Matayia Tellis 2-6 0-0 5, Lauren Zacharias 5-12 2-2 12, Sydney Allen 0-3 0-0 0, Audrey Koch 7-9 7-7 23, Emma Ingersoll-Weng 1-5 0-0 2, Avery Vest 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-52 10-15 55.

Halftime: West 26, Prairie 25. 3-point goals: Prairie 7-16 (Schmitt 3-7, McCrea 3-5, Moenk 0-1), West 3-17 (Morgan 0-4, Tellis 1-3, Zacharias 0-4, Allen 0-1, Koch 2-3, Ingersoll-Weng 0-2). Team fouls: Prairie 15, West 13. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Prairie 29 (McCrea 10), West 34 (Tellis 7). Assists: Prairie 6 (McCrea 3), West 8 (Zacharias 4). Steals: Prairie 4 (Moenk 2), West 6 (Tellis, Ingersoll-Weng 2). Turnovers: Prairie 12, West 11.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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