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Posted November 30, 2012
HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM: An inspiring night for Midland newcomers

Midland's two remaining players - Brandon Dirks and Landon Gailbreath - talk to their coach during a timeout in a 46-43 win over Prince of Peace. The other three junior varsity players had fouled out of the double-overtime game. (Mallory Dirks photo/Midland senior)

Editor’s note: Here is your chance to tell your story about your team, your school or your favorite player. If you’d like to join The Gazette’s growing list of high school contributors, contact J.R. Ogden at jr.ogden@thegazette.com

By Mallory Dirks, Midland senior

WYOMING, Iowa – A team of only five players in a basketball is not an easy thing to deal with. Even if it is junior varsity.

The Midland boys’ JV team faced Clinton Prince of Peace on Tuesday night. With only two of the five boys ever playing in an organized basketball game, they took the court for the entire game – which went into double overtime.

Matt Strong, a senior who only had about three practices on a basketball team in his life, scored 26 points. He also was one of the three Midland players to foul out.

Along with Strong, Midland’s two foreign exchange students – Jon Santillan and Onur Elicora, who have only played soccer in Europe – played the game. Elicora fouled out before the end of regulation and Santillan lasted until the second overtime, but was soon joined by Strong.

Freshman Brandon Dirks and sophomore Landon Gailbreath finished the game for the Eagles with a difficult pass inbounds to Gailbreath surrounded by all five Prince of Peace players.

Midland ended the game with just those two standing on the court, but with everyone in the bleachers standing with them.

It’s a pretty inspiring game when three players have never played basketball leave their two other teammates on the court, but still win the game, 46-43.



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