One might be an accident, but two is a trend, and three is certainly a streak. The Pratt High boys’ basketball team evened their ledger at 4-4 with a 69-50 win over Smoky Valley on the road Friday night to run their winning streak to three games.
The Vikings and Greenbacks played pretty even up throughout the first quarter. Pratt got up early, but Smoky came right back. The score was tied at 12 with less than a second left when Smoky heaved up a half-court prayer and was rewarded with an incredible bank-in 3-ball to take a 15-12 advantage.
In the second stanza, the Vikings continued shooting well when they got shots, but Pratt’s defense was beginning to limit Smoky’s looks a little bit. Pratt battled, but just couldn’t break on top. Every time they would have a possession that would have given them the lead, Smoky Valley got a stop, or the Greenbacks made a miscue, or they simply missed the shot.
Finally with under a minute to play, Derek Barnard made a 1+1 to give the Frogs the lead again. Then with 6 seconds remaining in the half, Samson Kohman got a steal at halfcourt and drove in for the bucket at the buzzer to send PHS to the locker room with a 27-24 lead.
The 3rd quarter was the turning point of the contest, as Pratt broke loose offensively and outscored the Vikings 22-15. Spencer Sullivan executed three acrobatic lay-ups to pace Pratt in the early part of the 3rd quarter. “Spencer really got us going,” PHS coach David Swank said.
“Also, Liam (Kahmeyer) and Brandon (Ruckle) did a nice job defensively on their good shooter,” Swank continued.
Pratt was up 49-39 after three, and the 4th quarter was basically just playing out the string. Samson Kohman converted a couple of alley-oops in the frame as the Greenback pressure defense created several transition opportunities for Pratt in the 2nd half. Also, the Greenbacks drove the ball relentlessly to the hoop, usually getting fouled for their efforts. “We did a good job of getting to the line,” Swank added. “I was pleased with all the kids.”
Following the 69-50 win over Smoky Valley, Pratt will next play in the St. John tournament next week. They are bracketed to play Macksville on Thursday.
PrattB 12 15 22 20 69
Smoky 15 9 15 11 50
Bartel 5, Peltier 4, Kahmeyer 3, Derek Barnard 14, Spencer Sullivan 8, C. Kurz 6, Ruckle 5, Shumway 2, Samson Kohman 22