The Pratt Community College basketball teams split a pair of conference games with Garden City on the road Wednesday night. The women fell 67-57 while the men won an overtime nail-biter 71-69.
For the second time in as many games, the Lady Beavers found themselves in a substantial hole at the break, down 40-26. Unlike their game against Dodge City, however, this time PCC was not able to mount a second half comeback.
Not that they didn’t try. Garden City was up by as many as 15 in the early going before the Beavers realized they actually could play with the #10 ranked Lady Broncbusters. Pratt whittled the lead back to 11 before Garden hit a big 3 at the buzzer to give them the 14 point halftime cushion.
The second half was a whistle-blowers delight. Both teams played hard and 2 players on each squad were shown the bench upon fouling out. To their credit, Pratt trimmed the lead to 8 at the 14:00 mark. From there on out, though, the Broncs had an answer for everything Pratt threw at them. Garden’s advantage stayed around 8 points for the rest of the game, ultimately prevailing 67-57.
The men’s game saw Pratt race out to a 32-25 halftime lead, largely on the strength of Aaron Abram’s 17 1st half points. Abram was en fuego from long range, canning trifectas on three consecutive possessions for PCC at one point to help Pratt establish their lead.
Pratt led by 8 or 9 for much of the second stanza, but then the homestanding Broncbusters began to chip into the lead. PCC went scoreless for 4 minutes, and Garden got in front 59-57 with 3:30 to play. Pratt regained the lead down the stretch, however, and led by a bucket with 30 seconds left in regulation.
Playing for the final shot, Garden City scored at the buzzer. After a lengthy discussion among the referees, it was determined that the shot had indeed beaten the clock and the game went into overtime.
Randall Rogers came up big for the Beavers in OT. With PCC trailing 69-65 with 1:30 to play, Rogers hit a basket, then came up with a huge steal and went coast-to-coast to tie up the game. The Beavers were then able to get a stop on defense, the Broncs going over the back of Kazmere Boyd trying for the offensive rebound. Boyd hit one of his free throws to give Pratt the lead with 5 seconds left.
Garden then threw the ball up into the cheap seats trying for a floor-length pass. Rogers was fouled on the ensuing in-bounds play for Pratt and he made 1 of his freebies to account for the final score 71-69.
“That was a good game for the fans,” PCC head coach Jesse Shaw offered after the game, “but it was an awful game for a coach. Those games are what is going to give me high blood pressure, a heart attack, cause the rest of my hair to fall out..”
Page 2 of 2 - “I wasn’t happy with the way we gave up the lead,” Shaw continued, “but I thought we showed a lot of character coming back after we got down.”
Pratt had 34 rebounds to 31 for Garden, a nice feat considering the size advantage possessed by the Broncbusters. “We battled on the boards, got some loose balls—our kids just found a way,” said Shaw.
A couple of Beavers were paid special accolades by their coach after the game. “Aaron Abram looked like an All-American in the first half,” Shaw mentioned. “And I was really proud of Randall Rogers. That was a big play at the end of the game.”
The PCC men and women now boast identical 12-6 marks for the season. The men are 2-2 in the conference while the women are 1-3. Butler County visits the Beaver Dome on Saturday with games at 6 and 8 p.m.
PCCW 26 31 57
GCCC 40 27 67
Hayli Jo Smith 15; Elle Stein 15; Ashari Broadwater 13; Maddie Pendry 5; Hannah Mehl 3
PCCM 32 31 (8) 71
GCCC 25 38 (6) 69
Aaron Abram 20; Javis Flynn 10; DeShun Roberts 13; Stivrens 2; Randall Rogers 12; Kazmere Boyd 10; Hellman 2