Pratt High won both varsity and JV games at Hillsboro on Friday night.
If you’re going to drive all the way to Hillsboro for basketball games, you might as well win them. Pratt High swept Hillsboro in both varsity and JV action, so it was worth the trip.
It’s not often you’re going to win a close basketball game when you leave 16 points on the charity stripe in the fourth quarter, but that’s exactly what Lady Green did as they downed the Trojans 33-30.
The Pratt girls played defense and rebounded well enough that they were able to shrug off their troubles at the free throw line and claim the win.
Going in, PHS coach Dustin Hildebrand emphasized that the Greenbacks needed to control their defensive paint as that was the Trojans’ strong suit.
Lady Green’s bigs rotation of Kierson Maydew, Rheagan Hoover and Makenzie Baird did a nice job of shot- blocking and lane-clogging, forcing Hillsboro to the perimeter. The Trojans hit a few long balls, but never got into a comfortable offensive rhythm. Lady Green held Hillsboro to single digits in every quarter.
Pratt played well at the outset, forcing some Hillsboro turnovers, crashing the offensive boards and getting some good looks at the basket. Alas, their shots didn’t go in and they trailed 8-7 after the first period, although they could have been up 6 or 8 with looser rims.
Hoover had 4 pts to pace PHS in Q2. Kaitlyn Rasmussen added a 3 and Dani Staats a bucket to help stake Pratt to a 17-14 halftime lead.
Neither squad could get much going after intermission, but Pratt still maintained a 23-21 lead heading to the decisive stanza. Maydew, Baird and Jenna Fincham each had a bucket for the Frogs.
PHS played carefully on the offensive end in Q4, cutting down the turnovers which had hurt them a bit in the first half. Allisan McGowan hit a couple of 3s, but aside from that, the Greenbacks struggled to score. They took the air out of the ball down the stretch, forcing the Trojans to foul. Counting literal misses and back ends of 1-and-1s that never happened, PHS left 16 points on the free throw line as the Frogs took turns missing freebies in Q4.
Baird, Rasmussen and McGowan combined for 4 free throws made in the period, but Pratt could have been comfortably ahead had they converted a few more free throws. Luckily, they continued to play stalwart defense and keep Hillsboro off the boards and managed to hang on for the 33-30 win.
The boys team rebounded with a fury after a less-than inspiring performance against Kingman Tuesday. They played perhaps their best game of the year in knocking off CKL kingpin Hillsboro 61-55 in overtime.
The game was close throughout with the fourth quarter featuring lead changes on virtually every possession.
PHS head coach Chris Battin said before the game that there would be no room for error against the talented Trojans and that the Frogs would need to play with passion and energy in order to win. They would also have to slow down Hillsboro’s potent transition offense if they were going to hang with them.
Hillsboro found they had no one who could guard Travis Theis (16 pts) or Landen Studer (17 pts) man-to-man, so they went to a zone late. Kaden Evert hit a couple of big 3s in Q4 to help send the game to OT tied at 51.
In OT, Theis hit a 3 and Grant Bolen made 3 freebies and Evert 2 to ice the game. “The difference tonight was incredible,” Coach Battin said. “The game’s a lot of fun when you play with heart and passion."
“We were the team with positive energy tonight,” Battin added. “We found a way to get it done. It was a good team effort.”
PHS hosts Haven on Tuesday.