Two-point games are becoming a habit for the Pratt High School boys’ basketball team. On Tuesday, Senior Night, the Greenbacks played their third consecutive such contest. The difference was, this time Pratt found a way to win—dropping the Sterling Black Bears 56-54.
“It was fun for the kids to win a close one,” PHS head coach David Swank said. “Especially on senior night.”
The game was close throughout, with Pratt establishing a 17-14 lead after one quarter. “It was huge that Christian (Kurz), Spencer (Sullivan) and Liam (Kahmeyer) came up big offensively for us in that first period,” observed Swank. “Sterling’s game plan was to take away Skylar (Dean), and we were able to score 17 points in the first quarter without Skylar having any of them.”
The Greenbacks took a slim 28-27 lead into the halftime locker room. After the break, Sterling had to spread out their defense to account for the other scorers, and Dean was then also able to get into the offensive flow, ending the night with 17 points.
Pratt led by 6, 41-35, heading into the deciding stanza. Sterling tried to make a run and things got tense toward the end, but the Frogs kept their composure and were able to turn the Bears aside 56-54.
Two of the biggest plays down the stretch were by Thomas Mayberry, who twice swiped the ball and was fouled taking the ball to the hoop in transition. He potted 3 of his 4 free throws.
Overall, the charity stripe was kind to the Greenbacks in Q4, with Pratt nailing 11/17 free throws. “We were averaging only 11 free throw attempts per game at one point in the season,” mentioned Coach Swank. “It’s been one of our goals to become more aggressive to the basket and get ourselves to the free throw line more often. We were able to do that tonight and it paid off for us in the 4th quarter.
PHS 17 11 13 15 56
STER 14 13 8 19 54
Skylar Dean 17; Kurz 9; Mayberry 3; Shumway 2; Sullivan 9; Chase Hageman 11; Kahmeyer 5