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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Greenbacks win overtime thriller

  • Coming off an emotional upset win, a team might be expected to have a little bit of a letdown in their next game. Not the Pratt High boys basketball team. Following the surprise win over Hillsboro last Friday, the Greenbacks prevailed 60-54 over Nickerson Tuesday night
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  • Coming off an emotional upset win, a team might be expected to have a little bit of a letdown in their next game. Not the Pratt High boys basketball team. Following the surprise win over Hillsboro last Friday, the Greenbacks prevailed 60-54 over Nickerson Tuesday night— on the road and in overtime, no less. “That was huge tonight,” observed PHS head coach David Swank. “It’s very difficult to stay ‘up’ following an upset win, but our kids were ready to compete from the start.” “I loved our intensity throughout the game,” continued Swank. “It was a typical Nickerson-Pratt game— tough and physical.” The first half saw the Greenbacks on the verge of establishing commanding leads a couple of times, but just failing to do so. “We missed opportunities to jump out to larger leads due to quick turnovers,” Coach Swank explained. As an example, the Frogs were up 20-12 late in the 2nd quarter, but then coughed the ball up on repeated possessions— and allowed Nickerson to get to the offensive glass— and the Panthers knotted the score at 20 in what seemed like the blink of an eyelash. Adam Bartel converted a 1+1 to give Pratt the 22-20 advantage going into halftime, but the Greenbacks had to have felt as if they had squandered some opportunities to take control of the contest. The 3rd quarter belonged to Nickerson as they outscored Pratt 17-12. “We had a short stretch during the third quarter where we played a little tentative and perhaps not as aggressive as I would like,” explained Coach Swank. Still, the Greenbacks hung tough, even with the Panthers seeming to possess all the momentum. Pratt got the score knotted late in Q3, but at the buzzer, Nickerson connected on a half-court desperation heave that put them up by three, 37-34, heading into the decisive stanza. After scoring the 4th quarter’s initial basket, Nickerson was up by 5. From then on, though, the determined Greenbacks fought back. A Samson Kohman 1+1 gave Pratt the lead 47-46 at the 1:30 mark. Nickerson hit 1 free throw to tie up the game. Pratt ran a last-shot play, and got a good look—but the ball rolled off the rim and the game went to OT tied at 47. The game went back and forth in overtime with many of the points being scored from the free throw line by both teams. With 33 seconds remaining and Pratt trailing by 1, the game’s biggest play occurred. Derek Barnard stole the ball and got it to Christian Kurz who scored and was fouled. He made 1 free throw to put Pratt up 56-54, but because the foul was flagrant, the Greenbacks also got the ball back— putting them in the driver’s seat. From there, Barnard and Kurz made free throws down the stretch and PHS closed out Nickerson 60-54 in OT. “We hit 9 (out of 12) big free throws in overtime,” Coach Swank pointed out. “All eight of our players contributed in different ways which is the mark of a good team.” Samson Kohman had a double-double with 16 points and 13 boards. Brandon Ruckle added 5 rebounds and Liam Kahmeyer 4. Spencer Sullivan had 15 points, Derek Barnard had a huge steal and knocked down free throws. Adam Bartel had a couple of steals. Traik Peltier came down with some big boards. Christian Kurz dished out 4 assists and had the big “and-1” to put PHS up late. It was a nice team win for the 3-4 Greenbacks who next travel to Smoky Valley on Friday. PHS 8 14 12 13 13 60 Nick 4 16 17 10 7 54 Barnard 4, Spencer Sullivan 15, Christian Kurz 10, Ruckle 5, Samson Kohman 16, Kahmeyer 4, Bartel 4

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