Playing without standout point guard Angela Wemhoff for the first time since the senior playmaker's injury earlier this week against Lapwai, the Prairie girls wobbled a bit on the way to a 34-30 home court victory over Grangeville Friday night, Dec. 15. A large turnout for the annual Idaho County Shootout also propelled the PHS boys, who laid claim to a 51-46 win over the Bulldogs.

The Pirate girls established an early lead, 2-0, then 6-2, on a sequence of hoops by senior Josie Peery, who fell into foul trouble with Prairie leading 12-5 early in the second quarter. After Grangeville's Paige Lindsley drew Peery's second personal with a bit less than six minutes left in the first half, GHS senior Mikayla Ruzicka finished off a nifty tic-tac-toe passing play that went from Lindsley to Jakaili Norman to Ruzicka in the blink of an eye. After Prairie's Jordyn Higgins restored a seven-point lead at the other end, Norman's layup started a 6-1 run on the way cutting the PHS lead to 17-15 before halftime.

The third quarter saw Prairie's lead evaporate completely: Having lost to PHS by 40 during the first meeting of these teams two-and-a-half weeks ago, Grangeville lingered within three at 24-21 at the end of the third quarter, and pulled ahead 25-24 when senior guard Kate Lutz and Norman each tacked a fast-break layup onto the end of what became a 12-0 run. But after Lindsley's three-pointer made it 28-24, India Peery answered with a three-pointer for Prairie, marking the start of end game play with 4:35 to go.

Prairie regained the lead on a jumper by Higgins, and, after a second-chance score put PHS up three, 31-28, the Pirates started bleeding the clock. The decisive moment came late, when Prairie's weave stalled and Norman came away with a clean steal and a fast break -- but no points against the quick-recovering Pirates defense. Norman later came up with an offensive rebound and sank the short jump shot, but PHS hit enough foul shots down the stretch to make it and keep it a two-score game to the buzzer.

The boys game saw GHS lead 10-0 on a putback by junior forward Jacob Vanderwall, and saw PHS trail by nine through the first quarter as sophomore guard Trey Dreadfulwater scored 11 during the opening eight minutes. His blistering pace continued through much of the second quarter, but Prairie senior guard Hunter Chaffee's scoring carried the Pirates to within a point, 26-25, at halftime.

After halftime, PHS senior guard Nick Mager put the Pirates ahead, 29-28. After Prairie extended the lead to four on Chaffee's triple, Dreadfulwater brough GHS back within a point, 37-36. The score was briefly tied at 40-40 early in the fourth, and, following a Chaffee layup, Dreadfulwater's three-pointer put GHS once again briefly ahead at 43-42. Mager fouled out with the Pirates ahead by a point, and PHS scored what proved the deciding points on a long outlet pass from an inbound set play out of a timeout.

With more than a minute still remaining and the difference just four points at 47-43, the Grangeville boys hung a fifth foul on PHS junior forward Spencer Schumacher, who battled GHS junior forward Noah Kaschmitter throughout the second half. Kaschmitter lifted GHS within two, 48-46, on a traditional three-point play by way of a layup on which he drew a foul from PHS junior guard Devin Ross, who made the last points of the game on a pair of foul shots with about 25 seconds remaining.

During the boys' halftime, the event organizers -- the Idaho County Sheriff's Office -- announced nearly $12,600 in food and monetary donations, and awarded the traveling trophy to Prairie. ICSO officer Doug Ulmer also noted that in combination with last week's UpRiver Rampage rivalry games between Kamiah and Clearwater Valley, the two events brought $22,198 in donations for area food banks.

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