The Pratt High School boys have had their last five consecutive games decided by 2 points. The good news is they have been exciting, fun games to watch. The bad news is that the Greenbacks have dropped four of those five.
The Frogs’ most recent stay at the Heartbreak Hotel came courtesy of the Hesston Swathers, who staved off a Greenback 4th quarter rally to claim a 55-53 win.
The first half was back and forth, Pratt leading 12-11 after one quarter and 24-21 at the intermission.
Skylar Dean got the Greenbacks rolling with a backdoor cut, Chase Hageman converted a pair of free throws and Liam Kahmeyer picked up a bucket to stake PHS to an early lead. Dean then followed his own shot, Hageman scored on a pick and roll and Christian Kurz slashed his way to the bucket to round out the first quarter scoring for Pratt.
In Q2, the Frogs got just a little bit the better of a back and forth game, and took a 24-21 lead to the halftime locker room.
Hesston jumped on the Greenbacks after halftime however, three consecutive “and 1`s” fueling a 15-3 Swather run that vaulted them into the lead. At one point, Pratt was down by double digits, but Dean and Thomas Mayberry scored from the charity stripe and Hageman had a put-back to get Pratt back in the game at 39-32 as the game entered the final stanza.
The Frogs made a run at Hesston in Q4. Although never tied or ahead, Pratt used pressure defense to tighten up the game. Switching out of their zone to a man defense, Pratt was able to get some key stops in the 4th quarter. With half a minute to play, PHS was down 2 with the ball and a chance to tie or go ahead. An unfortunate turnover ended the Greenbacks’ upset attempt, however.
“The kids played hard,” PHS head coach David Swank said. “ Skylar (Dean) hit some big shots in the 4th quarter to help get us close.”
The Swathers weren’t 17-2 for nothing, however, and made 12/12 FT in the 4th quarter to hold off the surging Greenbacks and escape with a hard-fought 55-53 win. Pratt ends the regular season at 6-14, but its fun to imagine what their record might have been if a few more of their nail-biters would have gone their way instead of to the opposition.
PRATT 12 12 8 21 53
HESSTON 11 10 18 16 55
Smith 2; Skylar Dean 27; Kurz 4; Mayberry 1; Dobbs 4; Chase Hageman 12; Kahmeyer 3