It was another record-setting year for Pratt High School girls’ basketball as the Lady Greenbacks went to the 4A state tournament for the second consecutive year—the first time that has been done in school history.
After upsetting highly regarded Andale in the sub-state semi-finals and winning the sub-state championship over favored Hugoton, the Lady Greenbacks gave eventual state champion Wamego everything they could handle for 2 ½ quarters before finally succumbing in the opening round of State.
Playing in the tough CKL that boasted several teams who advanced far into the post-season, PHS completed the campaign with a 14-10 record. One signature win was over 6A state ranked Garden City. Known for stifling defense, the Lady Greenbacks at times utterly destroyed their opposition, ushering in the running clock at least five times during the season.
Of the ten losses, nine were to state-ranked teams, four of which not only made it to state, but finished in the final four (Sterling, Hillsboro, Wichita South, and Wamego). Two of those went on to become state champions (Wichita South and Wamego). The loss to South in the TOC was by only 4 points.
“It was by far the toughest schedule I have ever coached against,” observed head coach Dean Rausch. “When you look at who we played, a 14-10 record doesn’t seem too bad at all.”
Pratt’s two “bigs” were backbones of the team throughout the season, and were rewarded for their efforts by being named to the all-CKL second team. Senior Payton Hoeme averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds per game, and also swatted away 3 shots per game as well. Junior Jenson Maydew was in double figures at 10 ppg, 5 rpg, and 1 block per game.
Senior Whitney Tilley made honorable mention CKL, averaging 3 ppg, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. Other scoring leaders for Pratt included soph Stonie Flemming and frosh Breann Becker, who each hit at a 5 ppg clip.
Pratt’s third senior was Martha Ramos, who missed several games in the middle of the season. She made her presence felt when she was in the line-up however, and had some games in which she made vital contributions. She picked up the scoring slack in an early season defeat of Hays when many of the Greenback regulars were under the weather. She also made some huge plays in sub-state.
“Our senior players, Whitney Tilley, Martha Ramos, and Payton Hoeme provided us with four years of great memories and a lot of laughs,” Rausch reflected. He also added “Our senior trainers, Corbyn Crump and Emily Hook, gave us the support, responsibility and loyalty that kept the team running smoothly. They all will be sorely missed.”
The cupboard will not be bare for head coach Dean Rausch next season despite losing Hoeme, Tilley and Ramos to graduation. In addition to the aforementioned Maydew, Flemming and Becker, junior Amy Olson will be back. Sophs Paige Bailey and Haylie Hook should return as well. Freshmen Kelsey Smith-Potter got good minutes and Destani Garten was part of the rotation until going down with an injury. Thus there should be a good nucleus returning. Also, the JV and C teams had winning seasons, attesting to a bright future for the program.
Page 2 of 2 - The 2012-13 Lady Greenbacks were a group of girls who possessed the determination to progress to the point where they would peak at just the right time. “It’s a tribute to the girls who did the work and made the sacrifices,” Coach Rausch said. “They all believed, as did their coaches, that they could pull off not just one upset (Andale in the semi-finals) but two (Wamego in the first round of state), and from there anything could happen. At that level the difference is often measured in inches, not feet, and that was exactly what happened. A few of their shots dropped, a few of ours didn't. It provided the divergence that finished one season and propelled the other to the history books. What the Greenbacks won, what they will remember, is that they got to stay together for another week, that they made a little Pratt history, and that they felt that piece of mind that follows when you know you did all you could with what you had.”