Pratt High defeated Ellsworth 52-50 on Friday night in the semi-finals of the Hoisington Winter Jam.

It was a stirring comeback for the Pratt High boys basketball team as they advanced to the championship of the Hoisington Winter Jam with a 52-50 win over Ellsworth on Friday night.

Pratt got off to a good start, leading 7-2 after two minutes, but then Ellsworth began pummeling them with long balls. The Bearcats rammed through 5 from the arc in the first quarter to take a 23-15 lead after one.

Pratt tried a variety of defenses in an effort to slow down the Bearcats, but in the first half, they were not going to be denied and led PHS 36-25 at the break.

Perhaps the only people in the gym who didn‘t think they were out of it at that point were the Greenbacks themselves. “I could see in their eyes going to the locker room that they wanted to make a run in the second half,” PHS head coach Chris Battin said.

And they did. The Frogs dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Bearcats 16-4 to take a 41-40 lead heading to Q4.

An improved defensive effort was perhaps the key factor in PHS’ rally. Also, point guard Landen Studer got more involved in the scoring, with 11 pts on the night. Grant Bolen, who had sat most of the first half, played ‘very well both offensively and defensively the 2nd half’, according to Coach Battin. Travis Theis had a solid night with 17 pts. Kaden Evert added 9.

In the waning moments, Ellsworth had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead, but nothing fell for them and PHS had the win.

Coach Battin was looking forward to Saturday’s championship match-up at 8 p.m. “Anytime you get to play for a championship, you never want to take it lightly,” he said.

PHS boys 15 10 16 11 52

Ellsworth 23 13 4 10 50

PHS scoring: Travis Theis 17, Landen Studer 11, Evert 9, Bolen 7, Bates 4, Kolm 4