The Bunceton girls and Prairie Home boys basketball teams  picked up two meaningful wins Saturday night in CCAA action at Prairie Home.
With the Panthers winning 66-49 over Bunceton, head coach Mark McLaughlin said the Prairie Home boys earned at least a share of the CCAA conference championship-the first time since 2016. As for the Bunceton Lady Dragons, they also moved one game over the .500 mark in the conference by turning back Prairie Home 68-43.
“Tonight was about playing defense and being sharp offensively after a slow first quarter,” McLaughlin said. “Up one at half we went on a 9-0 run that broke it open and the kids never looked back. The goal now is to take four days of practice and prep for regular season finale against Jamestown. It’s a Hatfields and McCoys kind of thing that means a ton to the community and to the kids.”
The Panthers, improving to 14-9 overall and 3-0 in the CCAA, opened the first quarter with just a one point lead against Bunceton at 8-7. Meanwhile, after both teams put up 18 points in the second quarter, Prairie Home came back and broke the game wide open in the third period by outscoring Bunceton 25-5 to extend the lead to 51-30. The Dragons then rallied back with a 19-15 advantage in the final period to cut the lead back to 17.
Bunceton coach Dustin Ray said the boys played one good half and one very poor half. “We struggled to move the ball around the entire second half and became very selfish,” Ray  said. “It is very tough to win playing one on five. Prairie Home played a solid game and kept us off balance on both sides of the ball.”
Kassen Lock led three players in double figures for Prairie Home with 24 points along with eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Blake Petsel finished the game with 13 points, two steals, one rebound and one assist while Ty Stidham added 11 points, six rebounds and two assists, Blaine Petsel seven points, three rebounds, one steal and one assist, Clayton Pethan five points, 15 rebounds, two steals and two assists, Luke Stewart four points, six rebounds, three assists and one steal, Austin Small two points, two rebounds, one steal and one assist and Colton Searles with one rebound.
For Bunceton, who dropped to 7-10 overall and 0-2 in the CCAA, Jason Burnett had 14 points, three steals and two rebounds. Hunter Shuffield chipped in 11 points, 10 rebounds and one steal while Dillon Alpers had 10 points and three rebounds, Dylan Flatt six points, five rebounds and one steal, Brayden Doyle six points and two rebounds and Layne Maddex with two points and one rebound.
Bunceton also finished the game shooting 32 percent from the field and 47 percent from the foul line.
As for the Bunceton Lady Dragons, they played well in spurts while leading Prairie Home 20-15 after first period’s end. However, in the second quarter, the Lady Panthers rallied back with a 13-8 advantage to tie the game at 28-all. Prairie Home never got any closer in the ballgame as Bunceton came out in the second half and outscored the Lady Dragons 40-15 for the victory.
Ray said with the exception of the poor shooting percentage from the field, the girls played a decent ballgame.
“We had three people score in double digits-Madelynn Myers, Chloe Moser and Taylor Burnett,” Ray said. “Chloe and Madelynn also both had double-doubles on the night. Good team effort all around and a good win for the Lady Dragons.”
Burnett and Moser each had 20 points to lead all scorers for Bunceton. Moser also crashed the boards for 20 rebounds along with two steals and two assists while Burnett had four rebounds and two steals.
Myers also finished the game in double figures with 10 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double along with one steal and one assist. Maddie Brandes chipped in eight points, 12 rebounds and one steal while Taylyn Heilman added six points, seven rebounds and two steals and Cara Bishop with four points, four steals, three assists and two rebounds.
Bunceton also finished the game shooting 25 percent from the field and 64 percent from the foul line.
As for Prairie Home, who dropped to 2-20 overall and 0-4 in the CCAA, Maggie Wood had 14 points, six rebounds, two steals and one assist. Ashlynn Twenter finished the game with 10 points, four rebounds, two steals and two assists while Paiton Williams added nine points, seven rebounds and two assists and Kelsey Watson with eight points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Prairie Home coach Shelly Rex said Wood made her 500th point for her career against Bunceton.
“We are beginning to score but are allowing too many offensive boards that led to fouls,” Rex said. “We had two members foul out tonight, which led to them making their free throws. They are learning each and every game that we just need to put four quarters togethers rather than two or three.”
Prairie Home also finished the game shooting 51 percent from the field and 38 percent from the foul line.