Trailing by 5 at halftime, the Pratt High School boys basketball team picked up their first win of the season in their home opener on the strength of a ferocious defensive effort in the third quarter.
The Greenbacks D laid a goose-egg on Haven in the 3rd quarter, and propelled Pratt to a 52-42 victory.
The PHS offense got out of the gate well Friday night as well, after struggling at times in their first two games. Spencer Sullivan hit a three-pointer and converted a press-breaker lay-up to stake the Greenbacks to a 5-0 lead in the early going. Pratt was up 18-12 after one stanza.
The second quarter was not a good one for Pratt. Pratt’s offense went cold and in the final four minutes before halftime, Haven went on an 8-0 run to claim a 28-23 lead at intermission.
The 3rd quarter was all Pratt, however. “We made a defensive adjustment at halftime,” explained David Swank, PHS head coach. “We put Liam Kahmeyer on Hendrixson (Haven’s primary offensive threat) and he did a great job.” The other Frogs picked it up defensively as well, and controlled the boards so that the Wildcats were usually only getting one look per possession— and as a result, did not score.
Meanwhile, Sullivan hit another pair of trifectas and Kahmeyer added a 3-ball and a free throw. Derek Barnard and Samson Kohman each hit one from the charity stripe and Traik Peltier got into the act, picking up a basket. Outscoring Haven 12-0 in Q3 put Pratt in the driver’s seat 35-28 heading into the final period.
Adam Bartel made some key buckets in the lane and Derek Barnard scored 9 points to pace the Frogs in Q4. Christian Kurz and Sullivan made free throws to help keep Haven at bay as they fouled freely in the late going.
“Adam Bartel was physical inside tonight,” Coach Swank observed. “He hit some big shots. He had a solid game.”
“Spencer Sullivan (22 pts) shot the ball well,” Swank continued, “and Derek Barnard (12 pts) made some big plays.”
Haven was averaging about 60 ppg coming into the game, so to hold them to 42 was a stellar effort by PHS. The offense also looked better at times. “We got into a good flow in the second half,” concluded Swank.
The 52-42 win makes the Greenbacks 1-2 going into the holiday break, They will return to the hardwood Jan. 7th hosting Hays High.
Scoring: Sullivan 21, Barnard 12, Kohman 6, Kurz 2, Kahmeyer 5, Peltier 2, Bartel 4