The Pratt Community College basketball teams swept Colby on Saturday’s Sophomore Night at Dennis Lesh Sports Arena.
The Pratt Community College basketball teams swept Colby on Saturday’s Sophomore Night at Dennis Lesh Sports Arena. The women defeated the Trojans 61-52 while the men prevailed 77-56. Looking back, it seems like the Lady Beavers should have had an easier time with Colby, but they didn’t really bring their A-game for all 40 minutes. “We just did enough to get by,” head coach Stephanie Thompson said. “It frustrates me. We had no intensity.” The Beavers led just 31-28 at halftime. The Trojans hit 52% of their attempts from the floor in the opening period, which helped them keep pace. Hurting the Beaver effort were numerous turnovers against the Trojan zone. Too often, PCC would try to force the ball inside to a covered post player, or not see a lurking defender when attempting a skip-pass. PCC had 9 turnovers and Colby had 9 steals in the first half. Coach Thompson was also irritated with Colby’s offensive success in the first half. “We didn’t ball-pressure,” she observed. “We didn’t deny passes. We didn’t do anything to take them out of what they wanted to do.” After halftime, the Lady Beavers seemed to have sorted themselves out. They appeared a step quicker on defense and took better care of the basketball. In the first seven minutes of the second half, PCC went on a 16-4 run that pretty well decided the contest. At 13:00 the Lady Beavers were up by 15, 47-32. Over the next ten minutes, however, they went into a bit of a cold snap. The Trojans chopped into the Pratt lead until they had trimmed the deficit to just 54-48 with 3:00 to play. But Shanell Dedrick hit a big basket, then Maddie Pendry made 5 free throws and Elle Stein made 2 down the stretch as PCC was able to hold off the surging Trojans 61-52. Despite playing only 20 minutes, Tatiana Grant was the high scorer for Pratt with 15. Elle Stein joined her in double figures with 13. Karissa Pena added 9 off the bench. Sherry Calhoun copped 8 boards to pace PCC’s effort on the glass. Nina Spence added 6. The Beavers outrebounded Colby 40-21. The victory lifts the Lady Beavers to 7-6 in the Jayhawk and gives them 20 wins on the season against 9 defeats. It marks the first time in several seasons that the PCC women have posted 20 wins. They find themselves tied for 3rd place in the conference with Cloud and Garden with Barton just a game back. PCCW 31 30 61 Colby 28 24 52 Dedrick 2, Devlin 8, Tatiana Grant 15, Pendry 7, Spence 5, Pena 9, Calhoun 2, Elle Stein 13 Despite the game’s importance, the men’s contest was really kind of a ho-hummer as Pratt sent Colby packing 77-56. With teams clustered like grapes in the middle of the Jayhawk West, every match-up has a bearing on which teams will receive first round home-games. But there wasn’t very much drama between the Beavers and the Trojans, as the game was pretty much all PCC. “We jumped out to an early lead and never looked back,” Pratt head coach Jesse Shaw said. Colby only managed 17 points in the first half, shooting a dismal 21% from the floor. “Our defense forced Colby into some tough shots early,” Coach Shaw explained. The Beavers began to put the Trojans in their rear-view mirror about the middle of the first half. PCC heated up from the arc, with Rob Davis making two and Kaion Seales and Taylor Schieber each sinking one 3-ball within a short stretch of possessions. By 7:45, Pratt had doubled Colby up, 27-13. The Trojans could only connect on 4 more points the rest of the half. Meanwhile, Pratt put up 9 more and led 36-17 at the break. The lead stayed at 20 (plus or minus) the entire second half. Colby turned up the defensive aggression down the stretch and forced the Beavers into some turnovers, but the lead was never in jeopardy. PCC closed out Colby 77-56 for a relatively easy win. Although happy with the win, there were a few concerns shared by Coach Shaw following the game. “I was disappointed in the turnovers,” he said. “We got a little lackadaisical when we got up big. You’ve got to stay sharp.” Jacob Harms had perhaps his best game of the season, subbing in the post. He carded 9 points and 4 boards in his 22 minutes of PT. Harms has been injured much of the season, but he appears to be healing up just in time. “Jake is always in the right spots,” Shaw noted. “He does the right things. He should give us good minutes in the playoffs.” The Beavers had well- balanced scoring. Although Robert Davis (17) was the only man in double figures, Seales, Schieber and Harms each had 9 and Merrill Holden added 8. 4 other Beavers had between 5 and 7 points. Pratt dominated on the glass 51 rebounds to 30. The Beaver bench was also much deeper, as PCC got 48 points from subs to 18 for Colby’s subs. Dylan Hunter knocked down 5 points in the final 2 minutes off the bench for Pratt. The win gives PCC an 8-5 conference record (18-11 overall), placing them in a 2nd place tie with Hutch and Barton. However, Garden and Cloud are each only one game back at 7-6. The Beavers travel Wednesday to take on conference champs Seward County. PCCM 36 41 77 Colby 17 39 56 Dobbins 5, Flynn 7, Allen 6, Holden 8, Hunter 5, Robert Davis 17, Seales 9, Schieber 9, Harms 9, Tshikaya 2