One might be an accident, but two is a trend. The Pratt High School boys basketball team captured their second consecutive victory of the season with a 41-35 defeat of visiting Smoky Valley on Friday night.
The first half is one both teams would probably like to just forget about. Some nights, the hoop resembles a bushel basket, other nights it’s like the eye of a needle. Suffice it to say, in the first half, it was the latter.
Pratt led after one stanza 7-4. Garret Smith had a 3, and Skylar Dean and Liam Kahmeyer each managed a basket. Other than that it was futility for both teams. Things did not get a lot better in Q2 as Dean had all of Pratt’s points: 4 to be exact. Luckily, the Vikings weren’t having any better luck, as they could only tally 4 points themselves.
An 11-9 count it was at halftime, in favor of Pratt.
Luckily for all concerned, including for those in attendance, the game got prettier in the third quarter. Kahmeyer was able to get loose for a couple of baskets in the short corner against the Smoky Valley zone. Skylar Dean got a couple of lay-ups in transition, and Garret Smith potted another trey.
“Skylar did a good job on the back side of our zone,” PHS head coach David Swank said. “He was able to anticipate some passes, get some steals and score in transition.”
Pratt continued to play good defense, but faced a challenge on the glass. Without starting post player Chase Hageman (injury), the Greenbacks were badly outsized. Shooting poorly, the Smokies nevertheless were able to score a number of second-chance points as they outrebounded the Greenbacks, particularly on the offensive end.
“It was like David and Goliath basketball,” commented Swank after the game.
Pratt led by 7, 24-17, heading into the deciding stanza. Josh Shumway hit from the high post to get Pratt off to a good start. Garret Smith hit a trio of trifectas in Q4 to boost the Frogs cause. Smoky Valley began trapping as they were behind with time running down.
They could not get the ball back by fouling as they still had fouls to give, so they had to rely on their defense. They were able to force a few Pratt turnovers, but just as often the Greenbacks pressbreaker resulted in an easy lay-up, so the Vikings never could catch up. Smoky hit a 3 at the buzzer, but it was not enough, and Pratt had the 41-35 victory. They upped their record to 2-7. They will play in the St. John Mid-winter Classic next week, drawing Ness City in the opening round, Thursday 8:15 p.m.
Page 2 of 2 - PRATT 7 4 13 17 41
SMOKY 5 4 8 18 35
Garret Smith 0-5-0-15; Skylar Dean 7-0-2/2-16; Shumway 2-0-0-4; Kahmeyer 3-0-0-6