It took a furious rally in the final two minutes of regulation and two overtimes, but the Pratt High boys' basketball team joined their female counterparts in earning a trip to the State Tournament. Saturday night at Russell, the Greenbacks pulled off a 70-69 squeaker over the Larned Indians to punch their ticket for Wichita.
It took a furious rally in the final two minutes of regulation and two overtimes, but the Pratt High boys’ basketball team joined their female counterparts in earning a trip to the State Tournament.
Saturday night at Russell, the Greenbacks pulled off a 70-69 squeaker over the Larned Indians to punch their ticket for Wichita.
“It was a wonderful moment for our team to experience a come-from-behind win in the sub-state championship,” head coach David Swank expressed. “It was a total team effort. All nine of our players contributed.”
The game set up like a dogfight, as favored Larned had taken a fairly close game from Pratt earlier in the season, but certainly hadn’t dominated the Greenbacks. You had to figure PHS had a puncher’s chance.
The first quarter bore out the prediction of a tight match-up, as Pratt was up 16-15 following 8 minutes of play. Spencer Sullivan hit a couple of treys to pace the Frogs.
Larned hit some shots to start Q2 that they had been missing, and by the 5:00 mark the Indians had gone ahead 27-22. Samson Kohman converted an “and-1” to get PHS back to within 27-25 with 4:00 to play.
“Samson made some really nice moves on his way to 21 points,” Coach Swank observed.
Both sides’ offenses then came up empty for the next several minutes, but Larned hit two free throws late in the period to go up 29-25 at halftime.
After intermission, Christian Kurz hit back-to-back buckets and later in the period, Josh Shumway hit a lay-up that put Pratt back in front, 37-36, heading into the 4th quarter.
Between the 5:10 and 2:10 marks, the Frogs had 3 consecutive turnovers which allowed Larned to establish a 48-41 cushion. Things may not have looked great for PHS at that point—down 7 with 2:08 left to play— but the Frogs had the Indians right where they wanted them.
When play resumed following a time-out, Kohman hit two FT and Kurz hit a hoop. Spencer Sullivan then scored the next ten Greenback points. He hit two treys and one basket on an assist from Shawn Ramos after a steal. Then Sullivan hit a basket for points 9 and 10 in the sequence which knotted the score at 55 with 15 seconds left. Each side had their final shot of regulation rim out and the game went to overtime.
Samson Kohman converted two “and-1s” in the first OT and Brandon Ruckle made one from the charity stripe. That matched the 7 points scored by Larned in the period and the game went to OT #2 tied at 62.
In OT#2, Ruckle hit another couple of freebies and Ramos scored a Windex bucket, but Larned countered with 7 points and led by 3, 69-66, with a minute to play. Kohman got a basket to draw Pratt within one, but Larned had the ball with time running out. The Frog defense applied pressure in the half-court and jarred the ball loose. Spencer Sullivan came up with it and drove coast-to-coast to put Pratt up 70-69 with only a few ticks remaining. Larned’s hurried shot at the buzzer was off the mark and Pratt had the double- overtime victory, 70-69.
“Spencer Sullivan hit several big shots during the fourth quarter comeback that were huge,” Coach Swank mentioned. “He then had the presence of mind to attack the rim at the conclusion of the game.”
“Rebounding was a big stat for us tonight,” Swank continued. “Samson had 15 boards and Adam Bartel, Brandon Ruckle and Liam Kahmeyer combined for 17.”
“Christian Kurz had several nice moves and finished with 8 points and a season-high 7 assists,” Swank added. “Shawn Ramos gave our team a huge lift tonight with his defense and ball-handling.”
PHS will play Scott City at 6:30 in the first round of State, Thursday at Hartman Arena in Wichita.
Pratt boys 16 9 12 18 (7) (8) 70
Larned 15 14 7 19 (7) (7) 69
Barnard 6, Spencer Sullivan 22, Kurz 8, Shumway 2, Samson Kohman 21, Ramos 2, Bartel 2, Ruckle 7