Maharishi School

Capacity Crowd Sees Pioneers Rout Mid-Prairie

Michael Hauptman (22) of Maharishi School fights for a rebound with Tom Sherlock (43) of Mid-Prairie. (Photo by Harry Bright.)
David Dannemann drives toward the basket. (Photo by Paul Delisle.) The swarming Pioneers defense stifled the Hawks’ offense. (Photo by Paul Delisle.)

FAIRFIELD — Whatever it feels like to be in the proverbial zone of sports, the Fairfield Maharishi basketball team is experiencing it right now.

The Pioneers are not only defeating formidable opponents, but they’re pounding them in their current 18-game winning streak. The latest victim was a tradition-loaded Mid-Prairie squad, whom the Pioneers humbled 69-51 in Tuesday evening’s Class 2A district final.

Fifth-ranked Fairfield Maharishi will face Danville in Saturday’s substate game at Muscatine. Danville was an 83-63 winner over No. 6 Mediapolis Tuesday at Washington High School in the other district final.

“Maharishi definitely brought its ‘A’ game tonight,” said Mid-Prairie coach Don Showalter. “It would have taken our best performance to compete with them.”

An unofficial tally of 2,100 fans witnessed the Pioneers’ triumph, and the district champs did not disappoint.

After Mid-Prairie’s Adam Kos scored the first two points of the contest, it was all Pioneers. The Pioneers cut it to 3-2, then rolled off the next 15 points in a six-minute span of the first quarter for a 15-3 lead after the first eight minutes. Turnovers were prominent at the start, with each team a little tentative, but Pioneers’ coach Harley Carter said his team was more relaxed after it took the lead.

“It all starts with the defense,” Carter said about his team. “I think both teams were a little tight early, but we settled down and played our game.”

When all was said and done, the Pioneers scored 17 consecutive points before Mid-Prairie put the ball through the hoop again. The Hawks, who were just 1-of-8 from the floor in the first quarter, played a better second quarter. The Pioneers went into the locker room with a 32-19 advantage, a dominating performance against a team that went to the state basketball tournament twice during the 1990s.

“We missed a lot of inside shots, but our Achilles’ heel has been outside shooting,” said Showalter, whose team was just 8-of-24 shooting in the first half. “Maharishi broke us down on defense, and had us back on our heels all night.”

The Pioneers shot 56 percent in the first half (15-of-27), and got a lift from Willy Mullenneaux, who scored seven points off the bench, including a big basket in the first quarter to keep the Pioneers’ run going. Danny Duszynski, David Dannemann and Michael Hauptman each tallied six points at intermission.

“We went right after Mid-Prairie,” Carter said. “Hauptman is the hardest worker on the floor, and Mid-Prairie had to work to get the ball. With all due respect to Mid-Prairie, we were ready to play this game.”

The Pioneers slowly built a bigger lead in the third quarter, as the Hawks missed their first six shots. The Pioneers slowed the pace of play, and a 7-0 run over the final five minutes of the third quarter put the nail in the Hawks’ coffin.

Mid-Prairie played better in the final eight minutes, reeling off six consecutive points midway through the quarter to cut the deficit to 49-37, the closest the Hawks got the remainder of the game. After the Pioneers turned the ball over, Mid-Prairie had a chance to cut the deficit under double figures for the first time since the three-minute mark of the second quarter. However, the Pioneers’ Ben Stone sealed the Pioneers win when he stole the ball from a Hawk player, which led to a Silverman hoop. The Pioneers then hit free throws — attempting a whopping 31 in the second half down the stretch — sto seal a 69-51 win. For the second game in a row, the Pioneers’ Josh Meade tossed in a buzzer-beater for the final outcome.

Mid-Prairie’s best players had difficulties against the relentless Pioneer aggression on defense. Tom Sherlock, the Hawks’ 6-foot-9 center, scored 13 points, but was held three points below his season average and was unable to post up against Hauptman or Stone. Seth Fisher was held in check by Duszynski, who held the senior to just six points on 2-of-12 shooting in his final game. Adam Kos played a solid game for the Hawks, scoring 11 points, eight in the second half.

“Our defense is a team defense, so everyone got after it tonight,” Carter said. “We shut a lot of guys down, and the whole team plays in the moment.”

Nine different Pioneers scored as Silverman tied with Sherlock for the game-high with 13 points, while Dannemann added 12. Duszynski added 11 points and Stone scored 10 in the win.

Defensively, Mid-Prairie was held to 37 percent shooting while the Pioneers shot a blistering 62 percent.

“It feels good to be district champs, but its just another game,” Carter said. “Now we have to prepare for Danville. Hopefully, we can get everyone to come with us to substate.”

MID-PRAIRIE (51) Chad Showalter 1-6 2-4 4, Seth Fisher 2-12 2-2 6, Tom Sherlock 6-13 1-2 13, Adam Kos 4-6 2-4 11, Tristan Gingerich 0-2 0-0 0, Jared Freel 4-8 0-0 9, John Sebok 2-5 0-0 6, Adam Swartzendruber 0-0 0-0 0, Brad Yotty 0-0 0-0 0, Neal Campbell 0-1 0-0 0, Austin Hershberger 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 20-54 7-12 51.

FAIRFIELD MAHARISHI (69) Danny Duszynski 5-7 1-3 11, Spencer Bright 0-0 0-0 0, Willy Mullenneaux 3-4 0-1 7, Zach Silverman 3-8 6-8 13, Brandon Au 1-1 2-2 4, David Dannemann 4-6 4-9 12, Josh Meade 1-2 0-0 2, Alek Lisefski 0-1 0-0 0, Brooke Hinchman 0-0 0-0 0, Michael Hauptman 3-3 2-2 8, Kevin Craig 0-0 0-0 0, Benek Lisefski 0-0 0-0 0, Ben Stone 3-5 4-6 10. Totals: 23-37 21-33 69.

Score by quarters 1st   2nd   3rd   4th   Total
Mid-Prairie 3   16   4   28   51
Maharishi 15   17   12   25   69

Fouls: Mid-Prairie 26, Maharishi 14. Fouled out: Fisher, Kos. 3-point goals: Sebok 2, Kos, Freel, Silverman, Mullenneaux. Records: Mid-Prairie 18-6, Maharishi 23-1

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