Lady Vikings wake up in 4th period to avoid upset

The scoreboard shows what set the stage for Jayden Prather’s last-second heroics.

Hopkins girls used a strong fourth quarter surge to finally get the best of Sparta Friday and a brief slump and win on the road, 48-35.

The Lady Vikings, fresh from a 32-25 non-league loss to Allendale Tuesday evening, trailed the Spartans 22-15 at the half before coming alive. It was a good thing, too, because it kept their O-K Silver Conference record spotless at 8-0 and now they are 11-4 overall.

Later in the evening, the Viking boys came up with a thrilling 63-61 verdict on a last second shot over Sparta. The victory lifted Hopkins out of a fourth place tie in Silver standings with the Spartans, putting it at 5-3 in the league and 11-4 overall.

Jayden Prather made the winning shot.

Coach Jake Jewett said, “Tied 61-61 with 8.8 seconds to go, we called timeout and drew up a play to either get a drive to the basket or an open corner 3. The guys executed the play very well, and we got the shot we wanted. Unfortunately, we misfired, but Jayden Prather boxed out his man, got the offensive rebound, and putback right before time expired.” 

Tristen Perry led the Vikings in scoring with 17 points, and Trent Baugh finished with 15. Jewett said both Noah Corneille and Zander Hitzler chipped in as well on the offensive end and played strong defense throughout.

“Jayden Prather also worked his butt off on the defensive end, guarding Sparta’s best player for most of the game, and holding him to only 13 points,” the coach pointed out. “Sparta shot the ball extremely well all night, especially from beyond the arc. They knocked down 12 threes, and it seemed like more.  It took a complete team effort on both ends of the floor to get that win against a very well coached team.”

Hopkins has its work cut out for it Tuesday at Calvin Christian, which is undefeated at the top of the Silver.

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