In a game of runs, the St. John Lady Tigers had the first one and the last one, handing Pratt a 46-30 loss in last night’s championship game of the 37th Annual Tournament of Champions at PHS.
St. John raced to an 8-0 lead, but Pratt came back with a 10-2 run to tie the game at 10 on a basket by Aubrey Hoover early in the second quarter.
Tournament MVP Teresa Wade scored with 7:15 left in the half, and Ariel Smith drove to the bucket and scored for a 14-10 Lady Tiger lead with 6:39 left.
At the other end, Pratt freshman Payton Hoeme was fouled and hit both free throws, but St. John reeled off nine straight points to open up a 23-12 lead with 3:54 left in the quarter.
The Lady Greenbacks wouldn’t go away that easily, as they went back inside to Hoeme, who got three the old-fashioned way with 3:41 left.
After a free throw by Wade, Hoeme scored on an assist from senior Brooke Blankenship to make it 24-17 St. John with 1:51 on the clock.
About a minute later, she stepped outside and buried a three-pointer to get her team within four points.
Senior Ashton Neumann drew a foul — St. John’s seventh of the half — with 28 seconds left and hit the first of two free throws to make it a three-point game at the half.
St. John started the second half much like the first, as senior point guard Brooke Burgan stole Pratt’s in-bounds pass, settng the tone for the first half of the third quarter.
Pratt’s next possession was cut short by a Teresa Wade steal that led to a basket by St. John freshman Jamie Waters for a 26-21 lead with 7:36 left in the third.
A minute later, Abbie Ward scored to make it a seven-point lead for the Lady Tigers.
Pratt snapped out of its scoring drought when Hoover scored off an assist by Neumann with 6:05 left, trimming the lead back to five points.
But Wade scored four straight points before picking up her fourth foul and heading to the bench with 3:28 left and St. John up 32-23.
Pratt scored on the nextt possession as Neumann’s in-bounds pass to Hoover was perfect and the 5-11 sophomore easily scored over a much shorter St. John defender.
The Lady Greenbacks cut another point off the lead with a free throw by Neumann at the 2:05 mark, and they had a chance to pull even closer but missed the front end of a one-and-one with 1:28 on the clock.
Burgan drew a foul with 38.6 seconds left and hit one of two free throws to send her team into the fourth quarter with a 33-26 lead.
Pratt could never really get a run going in the final eight minutes as St. John was content to trade baskets early in the quarter.
Waters hit a free throw early in the period, and Hoeme scored with 6:49 left, making it a 34-28 Lady Tiger lead.
Wade scored off an assist from Burgan, and Smith hit a pair of free throws to make it a ten-point game with 5:26 left.
Hoover hit a pair of free throws with 5:11 to go, but those would be Pratt’s last points as St. John ended the game on an 8-0 run to claim the tournament title.
St. John hit 16 of 41 field goals, but just two of nine three-pointers.
Wade and Waters did most of the damage, as Wade led all scorers with 17 points and Waters added 13 points and a pair of steals.
Burgan was held to just four points on the night as Pratt’s Dominque Staats shadowed her all night and kept the senior out of St. John’s offense for most of the game.
Staats, who finished with two points and two steals, is quickly earning a reputation as Pratt’s best perimeter defender.
“We put her on the toughest kids in the state and she doesn’t back off. Every night those kids have the worst nights,” PHS coach Dean Rausch said. “I’m so proud of that young lady.”
The Lady Greenbacks got 14 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks from Hoeme, one of two PHS players named to the All-Tournament team.
Hoover added ten points, five boards, two blocks and two steals.
Neumann, Pratt’s other representative on the All-Tournament Team, finished with just two points, but she did hand out four assists on the night.
Blankenship added three steals and two assists.
Pratt was 10-for-30 from the floor and 1-4 from long range. The Lady Greenbacks out-rebounded St. John 25-14 and blocked six shots, but turned the ball over 26 times in the contest to just six for St. John.
In other TOC games, the Wichita Defenders claimed seventh place by beating Wichita West 50-34, Medicine Lodge won the fifth place game 59-34 over Macksville, and Larned took third with a 56-23 win over Chaparral.
Also at the TOC, Hoeme tied for first place in the free throw shooting contest after hitting 60 of 75 attempts during the contest. That tied her with Sarah Munds of the Wichita Defenders.
St. John’s Smith made 56 of 75 for second while Ward was 54-of-75 for third.
In the three-point shootout, Munds claimed the title by hitting 24 of 45 trifectas. Neumann hit 22 of 45 for second, and Burgan made 20 of 45 for third.
The All-Tournament team included Heather Ross of Chaparral; Lacey Farley of Larned; Yasnaya Susoeff of Macksville; Megan Honas and Shelby Oldham of Medicine Lodge; Hoeme and Neumann of Pratt; Burgan, Wade and Ward of St. John; and Munds of the Wichita Defenders.
Pratt (5-9) will host TMP Friday night for Homecoming as the Lady Greenbacks get back into MSAA play, where they are 2-2 this season.
Tipoff for the girls varsity game is set for 6:15 p.m. with the boys game scheduled to follow at 8 p.m.
St. John 46, Pratt 30
PHS: Payton Hoeme 4 (1) 3-3 14, Aubrey Hoover 3 4-4 10, Rystal Hoeme 1 0-1 2, Ashton Neumann 0 2-4 2, Dominique Staats 1 0-0 2, Whitney Amaro 0 0-0 0, Grace Fellhoelter 0 0-0 0, Taylor Ibarra 0 0-0 0, Samantha Snell 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 9 (1) 9-12 30.
SJHS: Teresa Wade 6 5-6 17, Jamie Waters 4 (1) 2-4 14, Brooke Burgan (1) 1-4 4, Morgan Osborne 1 2-2 4, Ariel Smith 1 2-2 4, Abbie Ward 2 0-0 4, Rhian Collins 0 0-0 0, Christa Milton 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 14 (2) 12-18.
P 8 13 5 4 – 30
SJ 10 14 9 13 – 46