Antuan Nesbitt helped The Prairie School boys basketball team defend its border Saturday afternoon.
The 6-foot-3 sophomore forward scored 22 points in the Hawks’ 74-59 nonconference victory over Liberty in the Wisconsin vs. Illinois Border Battle invitational in the Johnson Athletic Center at Prairie.
Prairie (10-7) led 34-24 at halftime despite making just three of 16 3-point attempts. It didn’t get much better in the second half and the Hawks finished 7 of 30 from beyond the arc in the game.
But Nesbitt and Jack Polzin carried the load offensively. Polzin made a game-high three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points.
The Hawks have won their last two games and three of their last four.
“After playing so well Thursday evening (in a 78-54 victory over Catholic Central), we came out of the gates slow today,” Prairie coach Jason Atanasoff said. “The intensity wasn’t there on the defensive end and we struggled shooting. I thought in the second half we played with more energy.”
Liberty is 10-13.
NEW TRIER (ILL.) 57, CASE 55: The Eagles battled back from a 10-point deficit with two minutes remaining and had a chance to tie the game. But a block at the buzzer sealed a loss at the Wisconsin-Illinois Border Battle at Prairie.
New Trier improved to 22-4. Case is 11-7.
“We really battled them and it was a close game throughout,” Case coach Jake Berce said. “If we cut down on a few of those turnovers, we could’ve won,” said Case coach Jacob Berce.
JaKobe Thompson had 19 points for Case, Jonathan Rankins-James added 11 and Mylin Duffie nine.
“It was a great team effort today,” Berce said.“It was a great team effort today with the guys really playing well defensively,” Berce said. “If we can keep playing with that effort and intensity, we will definitely finish the season strong and be ready for the playoffs.”
RACINE LUTHERAN 65, CATHOLIC CENTRAL 46: Elijah Solis scored a game-high 20 points and the Crusaders won a Metro Classic Conference game at Lutheran.
The Crusaders (8-9, 5-7 MCC) led 37-22 after the first half and increased the advantage to 23 in the second half.
“We played great defense in the first half,” said Lutheran coach Jeff Christensen, who won his 500th career game on Thursday. “We had a big run in that half and it came from us playing very aggressively on the defensive end of the court.”
Solis, a senior forward, went 8 for 9 from the floor, with his lone miss coming from on his only 3-point attempt of the game.
Brady Wilks, a sophomore guard, had 16 points and a game-high five assists and four steals. Sophomore guard Scooter Molbeck was 5 for 5 from the floor and scored 12 points. He also grabbed a game-high seven rebounds and had two steals.
Junior guard Brandon Pum led Catholic Central with 18 points. Junior guard Bennett Wright added 10 points. The Hilltoppers have lost four straight.
ST. CATHERINE’S 83, SHORELAND LUTHERAN 31: Tyrese Hunter scored 22 points and the Angels rolled to a Metro Classic Conference win in the John F. McGuire Gymnasium.
St. Catherine’s (16-3, 12-1 MCC) took a 48-16 lead at halftime behind Azarien Stephens, who scored 14 of his 17 points in the first half.
Jermaine Tomlin added 15 points for St. Catherine’s, which has won eight straight and is ranked second among Division 3 schools in the most recent Associated Press state poll.
“Defensively, we pressured pretty well and, offensively, we shared the ball, we finished in the paint pretty decently and, in the second half, we got some transition stuff, which was nice,” St. Catherine’s coach Nick Bennett said. “And it’s always nice when you can get everyone some minutes.”
Quentin Bolton led Shoreland Lutheran (4-13, 1-13 MCC) with 10 points.
WATERFORD 68, RONALD REAGAN 47: The Wolverines led 45-15 at half and won a nonconference game at Waterford.
Junior Hunter Karpinski paced the Wolverines (4-12) with 25 points and Gavin Roanhouse added 12.
SHORELAND LUTHERAN 83, ST. CATHERINE’S 60: The Angels couldn’t contain Chelby Koker, who scored 45 points, and lost a Metro Classic Conference game at St. Catherine’s.
Sadie Gilbert and Ashley Gerber each scored 15 points for the Angels (2-18, 0-14 in MCC). Molly O’Regan added 11 points.