Pratt High boys basketball got past Lacrosse 51-47 in the first round of Hoisington's Winter Jam on Tuesday.
With the PHS girls’ Tournament of Champions folding and the Greenback boys seeking an alternative to the St. John Midwinter Classic, the PHS basketball teams are entered for the first time this year in Hoisington’s Winter Jam. Both teams were seeded #7, facing #2 seeds in Round One.
First round action on Monday was postponed due to weather. When play resumed on Tuesday, the Pratt boys defeated Lacrosse 51-47 but the PHS girls lost 51-26 to Russell.
In the boys game, Pratt had the advantage in athleticism, but Lacrosse was the more physical team. The Leopards managed to play the style of game they prefer, keeping the quicker Greenbacks from being able to exploit their advantage very much. Even so, PHS hung on to win in a nail-biter 51-47.
Kaden Evert put PHS on top 5-0 early on, but the Leopards clawed their way back in, only trailing 13-12 at the quarter.
Some sloppy play in Q2 by the Frogs let Lacrosse take the lead 20-18 at the 3:00 mark. Following a PHS time-out, the Greenbacks reeled off 9 straight points to go back up by 7. But Lacrosse would not go away. They drove like maniacs to the glass and used their physicality on the offensive boards to get back within 1, 27-26 Pratt, at halftime. In the first half, Lacrosse had more offensive rebounds than PHS had defensive ones.
After intermission, Travis Theis scored Pratt’s next 10 points. Jarrett Bates added an “&-1” and the Greenbacks led 40-32 heading to the fourth period.
Lacrosse rallied hard, but Evert and Theis made 3s for Pratt; and Grant Bolen, Landen Studer and Jarrett Bates combined to go 5/6 from the charity stripe to hold the Leopards at bay.
Bolen also had one of the biggest offensive rebounds on the night for Pratt, getting PHS the ball and the momentum back in the final minute.
It took a whip and a chair, but in the end, the Frogs prevailed over the Leopards 51-47.
“In the second half, we made just enough shots,” PHS head coach Chris Battin said. “Lacrosse outhustled us. They fought. They caused us problems by crashing the boards from the perimeter.”
“But we hit free throws down the stretch,” Battin maintained. “We hit shots when it mattered most.”
The Greenbacks advance to the winners bracket semi-finals on Friday at 4:45.
Pratt boys 13 14 13 11 51
Lacrosse 12 14 6 15 47
PHS scoring: Kaden Evert 11, Travis Theis 18, Studer 3, Bates 7, Bolen 8, Kolm 2, Shanline2
PHS head girls coach Dustin Hildebrand said before Lady Green’s game with Russell that if the Pratt girls could score, he liked their chances. Unfortunately, PHS could only manage a lone free throw from Allisan McGowan in the first period and Russell was up 9-1 after one frame.
In the second quarter, things really got away from Lady Green as the Broncos outscored them 21-7 to take a 30-8 lead at the break.
Russell was very effective at finding the open player against Pratt’s zone. They also connected frequently by pushing the ball as the struggling Pratt offense provided the Broncos with numerous transition opportunities.
Pretty much everything that could go wrong for Pratt did in the first half. They struggled against Russell’s full court pressure, with Bronco hands slapping away ball after ball and Russell girls appearing in the Frog passing lanes with regularity.
Not only did PHS struggle to make shots, they had a hard time even getting shots. The Greenbacks turned it over 19 times in the first half, and shot only 3/15 from the floor- the exact opposite of what Coach Hildebrand had expressed as the formula for success.
The second half was somewhat more representative, Lady Green only getting outscored 21-18, but the damage had already been done. Most of the fourth quarter was played with the running clock, and when time expired, Russell had the 51-26 win.
PHS will play Thursday at 3:00 in the consolation semi-finals.
Pratt girls 1 7 9 9 26
Russell 9 21 12 9 51
PHS scoring: McGowan 6, Staats 6, Maydew 4, Wilson 3, Hoover 3, Rasmussen 2, Fincham 2