Back in December in the midst of their brutal opening stretch of games in which they dropped their first seven contests, the Pratt High School boys basketball team was downed at home by the Kingman Eagles 56-46.
As evidence that PHS head coach Dave Swank’s “improvement for February” strategy is working, on Tuesday night the Greenbacks virtually reversed the score on the Eagles, coming away with a 57-46 triumph on the Eagles’ home floor.
The 21-point turnaround was accomplished by a combination of several factors: defense, rebounding and offense.
“We played well defensively,” Coach Swank opined. “We were able to get 10 steals out of our zone, which is pretty good. Liam Kahmeyer was especially active on defense, anticipating where Kingman was going to try to pass the ball.”
Pratt outrebounded Kingman 22-20, not a huge differential but significant given that the Frogs have only one bona fide “big man”, Chase Hageman. “One of our ‘February goals’ is to win the rebounding battle,” Swank mentioned.
Pratt has had nights this season where they have struggled offensively, but Tuesday was not one of them. The Greenbacks sprinted to an early 11-2 lead largely on the strength of 3-balls from Garret Smith and Skylar Dean. Smith and Dean continued scoring throughout the game, ending with 17 and 16 points respectively to pace the Frogs.
Joining them in double figures was Chase Hageman who scored 13 points from the post. “We did a nice job of getting the ball inside to Chase,” Coach Swank said. “Then Chase really finished strong at the rim.” Hageman had three “and 1s” in the second quarter, scoring 9 of his points in that frame to lead the PHS Q2 charge.
The win improves the Greenbacks record to 5-9 overall, 2-1 in the CKL. Pratt has won five of its last seven contests after going 0-7 to start the year. Next up is Nickerson on Friday, the team that Pratt beat for their first victory earlier this season. But this time, the game is at the PantherDen, always a tough place to play. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
PRATT 13 13 10 21 57
KINGM 5 11 10 20 46
Garret Smith 2-3-4/7-17; Skylar Dean 4-1-5/8-16; Mayberry 0-0-3/4-3; Chase Hageman 4-0-5/8-13; Kahmeyer 2-0-4/5-8
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