As many people expected, the young Pratt Greenbacks struggled offensively against Garden City in their season opener, dropping the home contest 46-27.
Neither team was exactly ‘en fuego’ at the outset, but Garden City eventually got enough going out of their transition game to score enough points to win. It was not a pretty night statistically for either team shooting the ball.
In the first half, Pratt only made 3/21 field goals and that improved only slightly in the second half, with the Greenbacks shooting 9/43 on the night.
“Our Achilles heel right now is shooting,” admitted head coach Dave Swank. “It’s not that we didn’t get any looks, or even that we didn’t get GOOD looks. The ball just didn’t go in tonight.”
It looked for a time as though Pratt might hang with the Buffalos. At 2:00 left in first quarter, the score was tied 6-6, Pratt’s points coming off a pair of Skylar Dean treys. But over the next 5 minutes, spanning the end Q1 and the start of Q2, Pratt seemed to have a little trouble with Garden City’s defensive quickness and the Buffs were able to score in transition even though they were having just about as much trouble scoring out of their offense as the Frogs were.
A 14-0 Garden City run made it 20-6 with 3 minutes left n the first half. A Spencer Sullivan 3 and a Chase Hageman free throw cut the gap to 20-10 at the break.
The third quarter was pretty much all Buffs as they scored from behind the arc, off of follow shots and in transition. It was 41- 15 heading into the final stanza. Pratt got the better of it in the 4th quarter, outscoring Garden 12-5, but they could get no closer than the final score of 46-27.
“We have a lot of rookies out there this year,” Swank acknowledged. “We work every day in practice on shooting. We’ll get better. I liked our defense tonight, holding a 6A school to 46 points is pretty good. We are what we are. Until our shooting gets better, we’re going to have to rely on our defense. We’re deep enough we can full court pressure.”
Pratt 6 4 5 12 27
Garden 11 9 21 5 46
Dean 2-2-2/2-12; Kurz 2-0-1/1-5; Sullivan 0-1-0-3; Hageman 1-0-2/4-4; Ramos 0-0--0/2-0; Kahmeyer 1-0-0-2; Fowler 0-0-1/2-1