It was a good night for the Pratt Lady Greenbacks as they began their 2012/2013 campaign with a 50-46 victory over visiting Garden City Friday night.
Leading by as many as 12 in the first half thanks to some torrid outside shooting, the Frogs had to hold on in the second half to come away with the win.
Both teams were tentative at the outset-first game jitters no doubt. But then Payton Hoeme caught fire, draining a pair of three balls and converting an old-fashioned 3-point play. Breanne Becker popped a three, Stonie Flemming hit a 3 and Whitney Tilley made a pair from the charity stripe to help stake the Greenbacks to a 19-10 lead at the end of the first stanza.
To start the second quarter, Garden City began scoring off their press-breaker, and used defensive pressure of their own to create some transition buckets. The Lady Buffalos had cut the Pratt lead to 22-17 at the 5:00 mark.
Then Jenson Maydew, Amy Olson and Stonie Flemming all converted from behind the arc and Destani Garten chipped in a free throw to help the Greenbacks keep pace the rest of the 2nd quarter, and at halftime the score was 32-25 Pratt.
The first three minutes of the 3rd frame saw Pratt go cold while Garden City was able to score points in transition and cut the gap to just 4. The teams traded buckets for a couple of minutes until Jenson Maydew scored 7 unanswered points herself to extend Pratt’s lead to double digits again. Flemming fed Paige Bailey on the pressbreaker, and the lay-in gave the Frogs a 45-36 lead heading into the final quarter.
Still trailing by 9 with under 4 minutes to play, Garden City made a run at the Greenbacks down the stretch.
Pratt bent, but didn’t break. Leading 50-44 with 21 seconds to play, Pratt turned it over and Garden City scored to make the score 50-46, but time ran out with the Greenbacks in possession of the ball and the win.
Of the Greenbacks deadly shooting in the first half, head coach Dean Rausch said, “We knew they would play us man and sag, so that gave us some good looks. All our kids can hit the 3, even our post players. It was just one of those things.”
Pratt played well defensively, Amy Olson especially disrupting the Buffalo offense with pressure on the point. “We knew #23 (Taryn Temple) was a good finisher,” Rausch explained, “and they have a couple good girls in the post. Our kids did a good job on them and then rebounding so they only got one chance.”
The Lady Greenbacks travel to Andale next Friday to take on the always tough Indians.