The Pratt Community College Lady Beavers basketball team started 2013 off with a bang, throttling McPherson College JV 81-59 in their final pre-conference tune-up.
The outnumbered and out-athleted Lady Bulldogs found themselves overmatched Wednesday night at Dennis Lesh Sports Arena. Playing an up-tempo style out of the gate, PCC raced out to a 14-6 lead in the early going, paced by Hayli Jo Smith’s 7 points.
“We’ve been working on our fast break the past few days in practice,” explained PCC head coach Stephanie Thompson. “We wanted to give ourselves a quick-hitter, another type of opportunity to score.”
The Beaver lead fluctuated between 5 and 9 points through the middle of the first half, Pratt’s efforts being enhanced by Elle Stein’s work on the offensive glass. Stein scored 8 of her 10 points in the first half. Windex buckets were a strength overall for the Lady Beavers on the night, as they scored 32 second chance points.
“That was our best night of the season on the offensive boards,” Shanline expressed. “It was good to see.”
PCC has been routinely outrebounding their opponents, but this game was the first where boards played such a huge role in the offense.
Toward the end of the first half, PCC gradually extended its lead to double digits, Keosha Parks and Kari Devlin hitting key shots for the Beavers. Samantha Watson added a pair of ‘and-ones’ to stake PCC to a 37-27 lead at halftime.
The second half was all Pratt as the Lady Bulldogs wore down the longer the game went on. With only 7 players in uniform, they could not match the intensity of the Beavers down the stretch, who had 11 players with meaningful minutes.
Tatiana Grant had an ‘and-one’ off the offensive boards and then a coast-to-coast steal and lay-up to get PCC off to a good start in the second half. By the 10:00 mark the lead was 20; and then 25 at the 7:20 mark. Coach Shanline emptied the rest of her bench and the Lady Beavers coasted to the 81-59 win.
Although a bit lackadaisical getting back on defense at times, for the most part the Lady Beavers played well defensively, their length and athleticism forcing the Bulldogs into some deep counts and tough shots, especially around the basket. Eventually, the tired McPhersons just resorted to tossing up long-balls—most of which were off the mark. On the night, the Bulldogs only shot 30% from the floor, and 25% from behind the arc.
“Our halfcourt defense was good, especially in the first half,” Coach Shanline said. “McPherson only scored 6 pojnts off their offense in the first half. The rest were off our turnovers or their offensive boards.”
Page 2 of 2 - The conference season gets started with a vengeance next week, with three games on tap for the currently 11-3 Lady Beavers. They will host Cloud on Monday, go to Seward on Wednesday, and finish up with Dodge on Saturday.
PCC 37 44 81
McP JV 27 32 59
Elle Stein 5-0-2/2-12; Devlin 3-1-0-9; Tatiana Grant 6-0-1/1-13; Pendry 1-1-1/2-6; Hayli Jo Smith 8-0-1/2-17; Strobel 2-0-0-4; Watson 2-0-2/2-6; Mehl 3-0-0-6; Parks 3-0-2/2-8