Prescott defeats Altoona in highly anticipated rematch

By Joe Peine
Posted 2/7/24

The Prescott Cardinals defeated the Altoona Railroaders on Tuesday in Altoona by a score of 64-53

It was a big win for the first-place Cardinals as they had to beat the fourth-ranked Railroaders …

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Prescott defeats Altoona in highly anticipated rematch


The Prescott Cardinals defeated the Altoona Railroaders on Tuesday in Altoona by a score of 64-53

It was a big win for the first-place Cardinals as they had to beat the fourth-ranked Railroaders without the help of their star player Dallas Wallin who was out with a badly sprained ankle. The hope was to get him back later in the week, but they first needed a win against Altoona to maintain their position in a tie at the top of the conference with Osceola, who also won their first game last week.

Prescott started the game in a dead heat with Altoona. With 5:40 remaining in the first period, the Cardinals were down by two when Barrett Temmers got the ball on the outside via an assist from Mason Schommer and drained it to take a one-point lead at 19-18.

With just 0:25 left in the first period, Prescott was down 25-22 when Max Monteith passed it over to Teddy Bernick who had good separation at a full step off the top corner of the arc, jumped up and put it through the net to even it up. The Railroaders would score one more time before time ran out, and the Cardinals would go into the half down by two at 27-25.

Prescott got things going right away in the second half, scoring four quick points and capping the 7-0 run with a Schommer three-pointer from the top left corner of the perimeter to make it 32-27. They maintained this five-point spread through the midpoint of the period, and as the clock rolled under 8:00, Ian Leask came up with a key block to keep points off the board and send the ball back the other way.

The final 7:00 were filled with highlight reel plays for Prescott. Temmers came up with a shot from deep to stake an 11-point lead at 50-39.

The Railroaders made it interesting though, going on a 10-4 run over the next few minutes to make it 54-49, but Monteith found an opening on the top left corner to make it an eight-point lead once again with just 2:00 remaining in regulation. The Cardinals held on and took home a double-digit differential victory at 64-53.

It’s hard to replace the production and dominance of Wallin who can take over games for the red birds, but Temmers, Kyle Cogan and Monteith did a more than admirable job and kept Prescott in first place.

The player of the game was Temmers who was efficient with his shooting across the board, scoring 19 points including going 5-8 on three-pointers and a perfect 4-4 from the line. Both Cogan and Monteith scored double digit points and contributed heavily in the rebound game where Wallin normally excels.

Temmers says his production and their win minus their top scorer was a team effort where they just found shots when they needed them, and the hope is that they can turn all this success into a conference championship and a successful postseason run.

“We pretty much just played good defense, but we also played good offense. Everybody was playing with confidence, and it was just a good time to find my shot,” Temmers said. “We’re a very defense-based team. That’s not something we’ve had in the past years, so I think we can make it pretty far in the playoffs.”

This was an even bigger win as it was on the road against the Railroaders, who were the lone Middle Border team to defeat them this year. Ironically, that one loss was in the game where Wallin dislocated his finger in the first half and visibly wasn’t right in the second period.

Head Coach Nick Johnson says they knew going into it that they needed a full team effort to secure the victory, and that’s exactly what they got.

“It was an impressive and memorable win to be able to go to Altoona without an all-state player and find a way to beat them on their own floor. Every person that played minutes played phenomenally, and we knew it was going to have to be that way,” Johnson said.

Luckily, it was only a one game absence for the star player as Wallin returned on Friday in Prescott’s road game against Amery and didn’t miss a beat, putting up 30 points in the victory.

“We went to Amery not knowing if he was going to play. He went through pregame warmups and gave us the go sign,” Johnson said. “It’s only been 10 days since he had an extremely sprained ankle, and we didn’t know if he was out for the year. All of a sudden, this week he’s been doing some things and practicing. He said he wanted to give it a go, and obviously he looks good.”

With these two victories, Prescott is entering the home stretch of their regular season. With just three games to go, they are in a dead heat with the Osceola Chieftains. Fret not Cardinal fans, it’s looking like there will be a resolution beyond that of a shared conference championship as the final game of the season will have a Hollywood ending when they travel to Osceola for the last game of the season in a final showdown for all the marbles.

However, Prescott first needs to get through an away game at Baldwin on Thursday this week and a home game against Ellsworth next Friday before finally reaching Osceola on the following Monday. The anticipation for another conference championship is building in Cardinal nation, and in less than two weeks we will have a resolution.

Prescott Cardinals, Altoona Railroaders, Amery Warriors, boys basketball, Middle Border