The Pratt Community College mens’ basketball team laid triple digits on visiting Hesston College Tuesday night, blowing them away 100- 59. The women’s game was nearly as one-sided, the Lady Beavers dispatching the Lady Larks 84-62 in the opener.
The tone was set early on in the men’s game, as on PCC’s initial possession, Thomas Tshikaya put down a thunderous dunk. It would not be the only dunk of the night for the taller, more athletic Beavers, as they combined for several on the evening. They could have been in double digits for dunks if they hadn’t missed as many as they made.
By the media time-out, Pratt had built a 23-10 lead as Hesston could not find a defense that would slow down the Beavers—and they tried several. Then, Kevin Allen took over inside and Phoenix Bills began draining 3s. At the 6:11 mark, it was 34-15 PCC. Hesston enjoyed a nice little spurt at that point, closing the gap to 10 pts with 1:30 left to play. But then Javis Flynn canned a 3, Daylin Thomas got a bucket and DeShun Roberts swished in a trifecta at the buzzer to stretch the Beaver lead back to 51-33 at the break.
The second half was more of the same. Tshikaya scored the first 7 points for Pratt, then Bills hit another pair of 3s. At 15:00 it was 64-39. Dunks by Tshikaya and Allen ignited the crowd, and Robert Davis hit a couple of 3-balls off the bench. By 6:48, Pratt had extended the lead to forty, 89-49. Reserves played many of the final minutes, but Pratt inexorably crept closer to the triple digit mark. At 1:38 Tshikaya got a put-back to give PCC 100 pts. The final tally was 100-59, PCC.
Bills had 21 pts (with 5/6 from long range) and Tshikaya 20 to pace PCC. Merrill Holden and DeShun Roberts were both in double figures as well with 10. Roberts also had 10 boards to give himself a double-double.
In the women’s game, Pratt slowly built a lead. It was 37-28 with 4:30 left in the half. Hesston completed a 5-pt play to draw close, but then Elle Stein made 6 straight free throws in the Beavers next 3 possessions to get the lead to double digits. It was 47-37 at intermission.
Hesston came out in full-court pressure to start the second half. PCC broke the press successfully but could not convert, missing several bunnies. Maddie Pendry and Tatiana Grant hit buckets off the offense though, to keep PCC from losing control of the game. Karissa Pena got involved in the offense as well, and Pratt extended its lead to 66-47 at the media time-out.
The final 10 minutes was just playing out the string as reserves got more playing time down the stretch. The final was 84-62 PCC.
The Lady Beavers made 29 field goals on the night and had 28 assists (Lanina Spence leading the way with 6.) That shows some unselfish basketball being played. “ We played great team basketball tonight,” agreed PCC head coach Stephanie Thompson. “I also liked our energy and intensity on defense.”
Page 2 of 2 - “Our bench played really well tonight, too,” continued Thompson. Cayla Molina, Karissa Pena and Sherry Calhoun combined for 25 pts in reserve roles. Rebounding was also an asset for the Lady Beavers as they dominated the boards 55-35. Tatiana Grant got 12 caroms to go with her 28 points for a double-double to lead PCC in both categories. Calhoun had 8 boards and Stein 7. Stein had 15 points and Pena 10 to join Grant in double figures.
“We had fun tonight,” Coach Thompson concluded. “This team does well when they play loose and relaxed and just enjoy themselves.”
The PCC women host Trinidad at 6 p.m. on Friday, to be followed by the men’s game between Pratt and Labette County scheduled for 8 p.m.