FULTON, Ill. —
Ethan Howard will make it known to anyone willing to listen that the Prophetstown Prophets have won six games in a row.
The Prophets defeated Fulton 49-42 on Friday night because of costly mistakes and players losing composure late in the fourth quarter in what was a back-and-forth battle throughout.
The frenzy started in the fourth quarter when Prophetstown’s Seth Cady received a technical foul for shoving Fulton’s Seth Sanderson after a close play in the paint.
Fulton hit three of its four three throws, re-taking the lead by three at that point.
“It was a big momentum swing for Fulton, but luckily we were mentally strong enough to hang through, and I was really proud toward my kids for displaying that,” Prophetstown coach Cordell Juhola said. “We knew it was going to be a hostile environment, big-time game. We were lucky to come in here and pull off a win.”
Juhola said the reason for the six wins the Prophets have compiled in a row was buying into the task at hand.
“The main thing is that we have guys believing in what we’re doing and in each other; that’s what counts the most,” he said. “It goes all the way through; they’re doing a great job.”
Howard led the Prophets with 16 points, including hitting 6 of 8 free throws down the stretch, a large part of his 11-point fourth quarter.
“He thinks he’s been struggling as of late, but he came out huge tonight,” Juhola said. “We had to beg him to shoot in the second half.”
“That was an intense game to play in; that was a lot of fun,” Howard said. “We just told everybody to stay focused and do what we needed to do (after Cady’s technical) and that we would be fine.”
Fulton gave back some momentum toward the final minute when Jason Osborn shoved a Prophetstown player, allowing the Prophets to extend their lead into what ended up being the final score.
“Down the stretch, we just made mental mistakes,” Fulton coach RJ Coffey said. “We didn’t capitalize on opportunities given to us. They played tough toward the stretch. We just couldn’t make plays when it mattered.”
Matt Dail hit four 3-pointers (all in the first half) to get 12 points, while Zach Barber led the Steamers with 13 points. Osborn had eight points, all in the second half, before fouling out.
Prophetstown has beaten the Steamers twice in three tries this season.
“We’re hitting our high peak right now,” Howard said. “We’re playing the best basketball we have been all season with guys stepping up, and Coach is setting us up in the right situations to succeed.”
PROPHETSTOWN 49, FULTON 42
PROPHETSTOWN — Grant Ames 4 4-4 13, Austin Meadows 0 0-0 0, Ethan Howard 4 6-8 16, Daniel Shirley 0 1-2 1, Chris Bauer 0 3-4 3, Austin Gerlach 1 0-0 2, Josh Sigel 2 2-2 6. Totals 14 16-20 49.
FULTON — Matt Dail 4 0-0 12, Seth Sanderson 1 0-0 2, Jason Osborn 4 0-0 8, Zach Barber 3 6-6 13, Kyle Huebner 0 1-2 1, Jake Willging 2 2-2 6, Kody Crosthwaite 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 9-10 42.
Prophetstown 8 7 11 23 — 49
Fulton 10 6 11 15 — 42
3-point goals — Prophetstown 5 (Cady 2, Howard 2, Ames); Fulton 5 (Dail 4, Barber). Total fouls — Prophetstown 13, Fulton 16. Technical fouls — Cady, Osborn. Fouled out — Cady, Osborn.