Hawks at State Farm Holiday Classic
Prairie Central entered the State Farm Holiday Classic as the 13 seed and an obvious underdog against fourth-seeded and undefeated Aurora Christian. The Eagles would continue their undefeated run in deciding fashion as they beat the Hawks 65-37 at the Shirk Center Wednesday afternoon.
“Those guys will be one of the best teams we will face all year,” PC head coach Alan Dunahee said. “Just overall, their size, quickness, they play good on-ball defense, and could push the ball up. We just didn’t really much up well with them physically.”
The size that Dunahee mentioned is headlined by brothers Jake and Will Wolfe. Standing at 6-foot-4 and 6-6 respectively, these guys have been huge contributors to the success of the Eagles so far this season.
“We started out with a triangle-and-two on those guys,” Dunahee said. “But it’s not like their role players were pushovers, either. They really started to shoot the ball later in the game.”
A slow start really doomed the Hawks in this contest. After Eddie Shumaker scored the opening bucket for the Hawks, the Eagles reeled off eight straight points to put them ahead 8-2 with 3:53 left in the first quarter.
Baskets by Shumaker and Peyton Rigsby brought PC to within two at 8-6, but back to back 3-pointers by Trey Madsen, followed by two free throws from Jaehshon Thomas, gave Aurora Christian a 16-6 lead at the end of the first period.
The lead continued to grow at the start of the second quarter. Back-to-back buckets by the Eagles’ Danniel Stevens pulled the lead to 20-6. The lead would eventually grow to 31-15 later in the quarter before Billy Printz and Jake Bachtold scored for Prairie Central heading into halftime, with the score being 31-19.
The Eagles opened up the second half on fire again led by senior Jake Wolfe. Wolfe, who has verbally committed to Division I Lipscomb, scored seven of the first eight points in the half making it 38-20 with 5:50 left in the third quarter.
The lead in the third quarter extended to 54-29 as the Eagles outscored the Hawks 23-10 in the period. The margin would continue to increase in the fourth quarter, but reserves from both teams played much of the final minutes in the fourth.
“We felt pretty good going into halftime down 12,” Dunahee said. “But they went on some runs in the second half. We just had too many turnovers and let them drive by us on defense.”
The Hawks (5-6), who allowed the Eagles to shoot 51 percent from the field and struggled with turnovers throughout the game, were led on the afternoon by Shumaker’s 14 points. Rigsby and Wyatt Steidinger each added 6 points, while Bachtold had 4. Jake Crane threw in 3 points, and Printz and Collier Palmore each had 2 points.
Aurora Christian (10-0) was led by Jake Wolfe’s 19 points.