At times last season, the Pratt Community College men’s basketball team seemed to have taken up permanent residence in the Heartbreak Hotel. This year seems to be starting to approach that same level of frustration following the Beavers’ wrenching 62-61 defeat at the hands of Garden City Wednesday night at Dennis Lesh.
At times last season, the Pratt Community College men’s basketball team seemed to have taken up permanent residence in the Heartbreak Hotel. This year seems to be starting to approach that same level of frustration following the Beavers’ wrenching 62-61 defeat at the hands of Garden City Wednesday night at Dennis Lesh. “Four of our five (Jayhawk) losses have been by one point or in overtime,” lamented head coach Jesses Shaw. “It hurts. It’s really painful.” Early on, it didn’t appear the game was going to even be close. Garden was in total control at the outset, leading 21-5 at the first media time-out. The ’Busters were d-ing up and were en fuego from long range. In the first half, GCCC connected on 8/11 (73%) from behind the arc. All Pratt had been able to manage were 5 points from Robert Davis. Over the rest of the first half, PCC equaled the Broncbusters’ effort, but they were still behind 39-25 at the intermission. “We got out-toughed and out-physicaled in the first half,” observed Coach Shaw. In the 2nd half, Garden cooled off— or perhaps PCC began playing better defensively. The Beavers also began pounding the ball inside to Kevin Allen, who was the game’s high-point man with 19. By the second media time-out, Pratt had gotten the deficit down to 8 at 54-46. Kaion Seales had a nice stretch at that point, scoring 7 of the Beavers’ next 8 points to draw PCC within 57-54 with 4:48 to play. The Beaver Dome was coming to life as Pratt edged ever closer. The Beavers applied some full-court pressure and forced Garden into some turnovers. When Allen hit a pair from the charity stripe with just under 2 minutes left, PCC was down just 60-59. With 19 seconds left, the Beavers still trailed, 62-60. Pratt got a steal that resulted in an intentional foul by GCCC— but PCC missed both attempts from the line. Because the foul had been intentional, however, Pratt was awarded the ball following the missed freebies. On the ensuing possession, PCC was fouled again, but only made 1 of the tosses to make the score 62-61. On Garden City’s possession, Pratt fouled— but the ’Busters missed both free throws and PCC still had a chance with 4 seconds left. The Beavers got a good look, but the shot rattled out at the buzzer and Garden City had escaped with a 62-61 win. “I was proud of the guys for fighting back,” Coach Shaw said, “but we only played one half (the second).” Although the missed free throws and jumper at the end were frustrating, it needn’t have come down to that if the Beavers hadn’t dug themselves into such a hole in the early going. Shaw added, “I told the fellas after the game that maybe we would start getting the breaks in the post-season, because the good Lord sure wasn’t letting us have any right now.” Pratt is now 7-5 in the Jayhawk (17-11 overall), tied with Barton for 3rd in the conference, and just one game ahead of Garden and Cloud in the standings. To secure a first-round home playoff game, PCC needs to take care of business against Colby on Saturday night. PCCM 25 36 61 Garden 39 23 62 Kevin Allen 19, Davis 7, Kaion Seales 11, DeShun Roberts 10, Taylor Schieber 12, Tshikaya 2