By Pat Harty
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – It apparently will take more than shooting nearly 60 percent from the field to defeat the top-ranked Regina girls basketball team.
Mid-Prairie did that on Tuesday, making 23-of-39 field-goal attempts, but still lost to the Regals 77-63 at Regina.
“They’re the best in the state for a reason; they’re ranked number one,” Mid-Prairie coach Stephen Bender said of Regina, which is ranked first in Class 2A.
Regina star guard Mary Crompton only scored five points in the second half and took just three shots after halftime.
But even that didn’t matter because her teammates picked up the scoring slack. Especially sophomore center Alex Wiese, who scored all but three of her game-high 25 points in the second half.
Senior forward Sarah Lehman also scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half to help Regina improve to 13-0 on the season.
“I think we’ve got a lot of really good players,” said Regina coach Jeff Wallace. “We’ve got a lot of really good role players that can come off the bench and really effect the game.”
Crompton did most of her damage on offense in the first half, scoring 14 of her 19 points. She also made three of her four 3-point baskets in the first half.
Regina made eight 3-pointers as a team, while Mid-Prairie only made two, both by junior Addie Rath.
Mid-Prairie blanketed Crompton throughout the second half, but that also left the lane open for Wiese and Lehman to operate.
“It makes it so much easier,” said Wiese, who made 8-of-10 field-goal attempts “They have to guard her outside. But she can do everything, drive and shoot.”
Wallace wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance on defense where he saw too much reaching and not enough movement. Regina was whistled for 20 fouls.
Wiese played sparingly in the first half after picking up two early fouls.
“We’ve been in foul trouble a lot lately,” Wallace said. “So we’ve got to correct that and start playing with our feet instead of reaching a lot. And we’ve got to adjust to the officiating all the time.”
Mid-Prairie struggled against Regina’s press, while the Regals struggled to stop Mid-Prairie’s half-court offense. The Golden Hawks made 9-of-14 field-goal attempts in the first half and only trailed 31-26 at halftime after outscoring Regina 16-9 in the second quarter.
Defense had been Regina’s strength earlier in the season. Wallace seems perplexed by the current struggles, especially in half-court sets.
“That’s very unusual,” Wallace said. “We have been really dialed in on the half-court, playing really sound defense. Especially early in the year, that was our strong point. Our offense was way behind.
“And that’s maybe partly my fault because we had been really focusing on the offense and trying to get that ironed out and maybe we haven’t focused enough in practice on our defense. We’ll get it fixed and rectified.”
Rath and Ireland Hostetler combined to make their first 14 field-goal attempts, including nine in a row by Rath, who finished with 24 points.
Regina already was a deep and talented team before Wiese transferred from Tipton where she played varsity as a freshman. Her presence now gives the Regals another weapon inside to complement Crompton’s greatness on the perimeter.
“I love it here,” Wiese said. “I absolutely love it here.”
Wiese should get more touches on offense as the season progresses.
“We’ve just got to keep looking inside for her and Sarah,” Wallace said.
Bender praised his team for being competitive in Tuesday’s game, unlike the first game in which Regina dominated from start to finish.
“I’m extremely proud of the girls because when we played them in the first part of the year it wasn’t a game,” Bender said.
Mid-Prairie 9 16 18 20 – 63
Regina 22 9 24 22 – 77
Mid-Prairie (63) – Anna Vilovchik 1-4 0-0 2, Addie Rath 11-14 0-1 24, Shae Becker 1-3 5-6 7, Ali Butters 4-9 5-8 13, Ireland Hostetler 5-6 5-8 15, Caitlyn Riggan 1-3 0-0 2, Delaney Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Kessa Jones 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-39 15-23 63.
Regina (77) – Mary Crompton 6-10 3-3 19, Sarah Lehman 6-13 2-2 14, Grayson Dumont 0-4 0-0 0, Kennedy Wallace 2-6 4-4 9, Alex Wiese 8-10 8-11 25, Katie Dunn 0-2 0-0 0, Lauren Gaarde 2-4 0-0 5, Alexa Lehman 1-4 0-0 3, Megan Wick 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 26-55 17-20 77.
3-point goals – Mid-Prairie 2 (Rath 2); Regina 8 (Crompton 4, Wallace, Wiese, Gaarde, A. Lehman). Fouls – Mid-Prairie 14, Regina 20.