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Prairie boys basketball pulls off dramatic comeback to down Mountain View 61-60

Falcons fight back from 15-point deficit, Cam Newsome hits game-winning 3-pointer

By Will Denner, Columbian staff writer
Published: January 24, 2024, 11:20pm
7 Photos
Prairie’s Malachi Patton (4) shoots over Mountain View during a 3A GSHL boys basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2023, at Prairie High School.
Prairie’s Malachi Patton (4) shoots over Mountain View during a 3A GSHL boys basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2023, at Prairie High School. (Will Denner/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

BRUSH PRAIRIE — They expected some good, bad and ugly.

Prairie boys basketball coach Jimmy Tuominen and his staff said as much to their team prior to Wednesday’s 3A Greater St. Helens League meeting against Mountain View.

For much of three quarters, it was a little too much of the latter two. The Falcons played flat and dug themselves a deficit as large as 17 points against a hot-shooting Thunder team.

Then came the good in the fourth quarter — just good enough to pull out a win. Prairie rallied from 15 points down in the final 6 minutes, 30 seconds to claim a 61-60 win and keep hold of third place in the 3A GSHL standings.

“Tonight was a lot of ugly at times, a little bit of bad, but good when we needed to be good,” Tuominen said. “We held them to six points in that fourth quarter. We didn’t get many stops, but we got just enough to get (the win). I’m really proud of the guys.”

Much of the Falcons’ late-game heroics came from a confident group of underclassmen. Freshman Malachi Patton forced a 58-all tie with a 3-pointer. Sophomore Cam Newsome drained three 3-pointers in the fourth, including the game-winner with under 30 seconds left. Then, the Falcons clamped down in the final seconds to clinch the win, with sophomores Carson Morningstar and Josh Crane each blocking a Mountain View shot attempt.

“It was a crazy win. It was definitely a good team win, for sure,” Newsome said. “A lot of high energy. We played really well together coming back from 17 (down) and coming back to win.

“I kept telling the team, keep high energy and we can win this game. If we just keep playing defense and getting stops we’re going to win this game.”

The Falcons can fly on defense, as shown by their fourth quarter when they held Mountain View to six points and forced a cascade of turnovers.

To take the next step, according to Tuominen, the Falcons need to maintain that activity level over an entire game.

“We definitely fly around, sometimes we over-fly around,” the coach said. “Our energy level is high. I think what we need to do is be more consistent with it. When we do that, I think we can be pretty tough.”

In 17 years at Prairie as both an assistant and head coach, Tuominen this Falcons team is “by far” the youngest he’s coached. Prairie starts three sophomores in Newsome and Morningstar, each of whom scored 16 points, and Crane, who added 12 points. Patton, a freshman, is also a rotation player.

Naturally, the Falcons (8-7, 3-2) experienced some growing pains, including losses to 3A GSHL foes Evergreen and Kelso. Their hope is to be playing their best basketball at the end of the season and making a push for the playoffs. Currently sitting in third place of the 3A GHSL with three league games left, the Falcons have given themselves a chance.

“I feel like we’ve grown so much more from the beginning of the season,” Newsome said. “We got a lot of good wins, but I feel like now we’re playing way more together and way more smooth.”


MOUNTAIN VIEW — Madden Wilson 6, Aiden Nicholson 2, Cooper White 0, Tommy Willson 0, Tre’von Hughes-Farmer 6, Tage Ghuman 7, Daniel Dolev 20, Jack Johnson 10, Luke Swerdlik 9, Theo Sheron 0, Malcolm Weatherspoon 0. Totals 25 (9) 1-1 60.

PRAIRIE — Malachi Patton 5, Solomon Ogbeama 0, Riley Burke 0, Josh Crane 10, Carson Morningstar 16, Brendan Carter 5, Cam Newsome 16, Cayleb Knight 0, Henry Moultrie 9. Totals 24 (6) 7-8 61.

Mtn. View 24 16 14 6—60

Prairie 10 16 13 22—61