Shooters overcome height difference for a Greenback 5th place finish.
The Lady Greenbacks took 5th place after winning their final game against El Dorado in the Cardinal Classic tournament at Cheney last week, bringing their season record to 2-2.
Pratt lost 33-42 on Monday, Dec. 9 in their away game against Anthony-Harper-Chaparral High School, lost 19-45 Thursday, Dec. 12 against Wellington at home, and defeated El Dorado 43-27 on Saturday, Dec. 15.
Along with their win against El Dorado, the Greenbacks saw success when senior Dani Staats was chosen for the All-Tournament team after scoring 21 points in the El Dorado game.
The height difference between Pratt and the other teams was the biggest challenge the team faced.
“We have so many shorter girls guarding 6’0 girls” senior Kyra Johnson said. “We just fight through and outwork them.”
Head Coach Dustin Hildebrand thought the girls could have done better throughout the tournament if they would have made more of the shots they took.
“We struggled the first couple games in the tournament shooting the ball. I thought we took good shots but just couldn’t make them,” Hildebrand said. “We did a good job pressuring them with our press and creating turnovers but couldn’t turn those into points on the other end and so wasn’t able to pull out the win.”
The Lady Greenbacks struggled to keep up with Wellington in the home game.
“It was another game where after we finally settled in a bit and started running our offense, we still couldn’t make our open shots to stay close and they were able to pull away,” Hildebrand said.
Hildebrand saw a big difference in how the team played on Saturday.
“In the El Dorado game we finally shot the ball well and made a big difference,” Hildebrand said. “I thought we were much more patient on getting not just a good shot but very good shot and made 9/17 from the 3-point line.”
The fourth quarter of the El Dorado game was when Hildebrand saw the most perseverance, and it paid off.
“We were able to overcome some adversity and keep our poise both offensively and defensively and were able to pull away and win by 16.” Hildebrand said. “That was a big thing for us being younger and not having a lot of varsity experience this early in the season.”
Pratt will only have one practice before facing Thomas More Prep on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
“We’ll focus on cleaning up some of our mistakes in our press as well as some mistakes we made defensively in the half court.”
Johnson was happy with the spirit and mindset of the team throughout the tournament.
“The team played with great effort and heart,” Johnson said. “It’s very hard being the shortest team against every team we play but that doesn’t stop us from working hard.”
Johnson thought the team has been improving and will continue to improve by being positive.
“Eventually the rest will come together,” Johnson said.