It was a strange and weird game at Haven Tuesday night as the Pratt High boys' basketball team completed the season sweep by downing Haven 63-57.
It was a strange and weird game at Haven Tuesday night as the Pratt High boys' basketball team completed the season sweep by downing Haven 63-57. Although the final score sounds like a typical, normal high school hoops contest, the truth is, the game was anything BUT that. The first period was fairly innocuous. The Greenbacks got the better of it, leading 12-4 after the opening eight minutes. Pratt had balanced scoring, with Samson Kohman and Brandon Ruckle each collecting 4 points while Christian Kurz and Spencer Sullivan each contributed 2. Meanwhile, the rim was pretty tight for Haven as shots were rattling out. Adam Bartel got PHS off to a good start in Q2 converting 2 buckets inside. That pushed the Greenback cushion to 11 (16-5) where it stayed for the remainder of the half. Derek Barnard scored 5 points in the frame and Bartel added 1 from the charity stripe, but Haven kept pace and the Frogs led 22-11 at halftime. After intermission, the offenses came to life. Haven got a little bit the better of it, outscoring PHS 16-13 in the frame. Offensive highlights of Q3 included a Brandon Ruckle reverse lay-up, a Spencer Sullivan to Samson Kohman alley-oop, a baseline jumper from Josh Shumway that kiboshed a little Haven run and a Traik Peltier Windex bucket at the buzzer to keep Pratt ahead 35-27 headed to the decisive frame. “Josh Shumway played some good minutes for us,” head coach David Swank noted. “With Liam (Kahmeyer) being sick and some other kids being in foul trouble, Josh came in and did a good job.” The 4th quarter was when it got weird. Samson Kohman scored Pratt's first 9 points, and when Derek Barnard made a freebie, the score was 45-31 Pratt with 4:28 to play— seemingly a commanding lead, but Haven wasn't going to go down quietly. It became the longest 4:28 in the history of prep basketball as the Wildcats mauled the Greenbacks mercilessly, sending them time and again to the foul line. “I knew it was going to be a long 4th quarter,” Coach Swank mentioned. “Haven is really good at extending the game. But our kids made free throws when they had to.” “Had to” were the operative words, because the Havens had no intention of allowing the Greenbacks to even attempt a shot from the floor. Usually, a foul would be committed within nano-seconds of PHS in-bounding the ball. If Pratt was going to score in the final 4 minutes, it was going to be from the charity stripe. So they did. PHS made 18 (EIGHTEEN!) free throws in just the last 4 minutes alone. Added to the 7 they had converted earlier in the frame, that meant PHS scored 25 of their 28 points in Q4 from the free throw line. Pratt didn't make them all, but they made enough of them. Kohman, Shumway, Kurz, Barnard and Sullivan all converted freebies in the final stanza as the Wildcats were equal-opportunity foulers. Meanwhile, Haven became more aggressive to the basket, resulting in free throws if not buckets. Their long-range efforts began to find the mark as well, with three treys finding the bottom of the net. Haven was able to close the gap a bit, but Pratt was able to hang on for the 63-57 win. Each half was like a different game. Haven played much better after intermission, but PHS was too far ahead to be over taken. “I've never coached a game where we gave up 46 points in the second half and still won,” Coach Swank observed. “It was a tough, gritty game,” Swank continued. “But it was a win. We'll take it. Free throws and ball-handling won it for us.” In addition to the aforementioned prowess from the charity stripe, the Greenbacks only had 2 turnovers in the second half against the increasingly manic Haven pressure. PHS evens their slate at 7-7 with the win. They will travel to Lyons on Friday to take on the Lions. PHS boys 12 10 13 28 63 Haven 4 7 16 30 57 Samson Kohman 28, Ruckle 6, Shumway 5, Peltier 2, Barnard 9, Sullivan 4, Kurz 4, Bartel 5