Pratt High boys basketball took second place in the Hoisington Winter Jam, losing 47-41 to the host Cardinals in the finals on Saturday.
It was a different Hoisington team that the Pratt High boys basketball team faced Saturday night in the finals of the Hoisington Winter Jam than the one the Greenbacks had picked up a win against earlier in the season.
That bunch of Cardinals couldn’t shoot a lick, but they shot much better this time in crafting a 47-41 win over Pratt to take the Winter Jam title. They sank 42% from the floor including 3/7 from the arc. They also knocked down 14/18 free throws, with many of those coming in the second half protecting the lead.
The game was close the entire way, the biggest lead for either team coming at the end of the contest on a pair of made freebies by Hoisington. Pratt led 16-12 after the first quarter, and a Landen Studer 3 at the buzzer gave PHS a 25-24 halftime lead. Studer and Travis Theis each had a couple of long balls earlier in the half as well.
After intermission, Pratt looked to be in good shape with Theis hitting a pair of 3s, Nate Kolm connecting on one, and Studer and Brett Winsor hitting pairs of free throws. The Frogs took a 38-34 lead into Q4.
At that point, however, the rim closed up tight for PHS as they would not collect a field goal in the fourth period, managing only free throws from Grant Bolen and Jarrett Bates. Hoisington seemed to feed off their home court mystique, and their history of having won the previous two Winter Jams. The bounces just started going their way, they drove to the basket with confidence, and they played tough on the defensive end.
For their part, PHS had trouble getting shots, and the ones they did get didn’t go in. “I think our early success was kind of like fool’s gold,” Pratt head coach Chris Battin said of his team’s offensive struggles in Q4. “We fell in love with the ‘3’ a little bit. We can’t just keep swinging it around the outside looking for the 3 and never take it inside.” Hoisington outscored Pratt 13 -3 in the decisive stanza to account for the 47-41 margin of victory.
Though the defeat was disappointing, the Greenbacks have nothing to hang their heads about. They came in as the #7 seed and ended up playing for the championship, which is a good accomplishment. “We had a nice run up here,” Coach Battin said. “Tonight just wasn’t our night.”
Landen Studer, Travis Theis and Kaden Evert were all selected to the All-Tournament Team, indicating the level of respect earned by the Greenbacks in the eyes of tournament officials.
Pratt next plays against one of the most dynamic small-school teams in Kansas, the Macksville Mustangs, on Friday January 26.
Pratt boys 16 9 13 3 41
Hoisington 12 12 10 13 47
PHS scoring: Landen Studer 14, Travis Theis 12, Brett Winsor 5, Nate Kolm 5, Jarrett Bates 3, Grant Bolen 2