Pratt High girls won their consolation semi-final 60-31 over Victoria Thursday in the Hoisington Winter Jam.
Going into Thursday's consolation semi-final with Victoria at the Hoisington Winter Jam, Pratt High School head basketball coach Dustin Hildebrand knew his team had the size and experience advantage over his opponent. He felt that if Lady Green came out and played with focus and energy, they would have a good chance to win.
5 seconds into the game, Allisan McGowan drilled a 3 for PHS, and that set the stage for what would become a 60-31 rout in favor of the Greenbacks. "When Alli knocked that first shot down, it got us fired up," Hildebrand said.
The Pratt girls play a style where their defense creates offense, but the reverse is true as well: When their shots are falling, Lady Green seems to play better defense. That trend was evident in this game.
In quarters 1,2 and 4 when the basket opened up for PHS and they poured through 17 points in each of those frames, they held the Lady Knights to 8, 3 and 8 points respectively. In Q3, their shots weren't going in, and their defense suffered as a result. The Knights got the better of the third quarter 12-9.
Pratt's defensive pressure harassed the Lady Knights into 28 turnovers on the afternoon. Kaitlyn Rasmussen as the point on the zone trap used her length to advantage, creating disruption even when she didn't steal the ball. "Kaitlyn did what we want her to do," Coach Hildebrand said of his defensive catalyst.
Lady Green also had nice balance in their scoring attack. 9 different players scored and Pratt had good inside-outside combinations working as well. McGowan racked up six trifectas, and post players Rheagan Hoover (9) and Kierson Maydew (10) combined for 19 points in the paint against Victoria. "We wanted to emphasize the inside part of our offense to take capitalize on our height advantage," Hildebrand explained.
PHS also won the battle of the boards, with 14 offensive rebounds the most telling stat.
In the final period, Hildebrand was able to go deeper into his bench, with players like Emma Strobel, Anahi Garcia and Bridget Kiley getting some reps. The reserves continued to pour it on the Knights, Strobel collecting 5 pts and Garcia 2. Ironically, their success shortened their playing time as their scores put PHS far enough ahead to trigger the running clock.
With the win, the Greenbacks advance to the consolation finals Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m. at the Activities Center in Hoisington. They will probably face the host Cardinals unless there is an unlikely upset engineered by Ellinwoo. But that's the way Lady Green wants it. "The girls want to play Hoisington to get some revenge for that loss earlier in the season,' Coach Hildebrand intimated.
PHS girls 17 17 9 17 60
Victoria 8 3 12 8 31
PHS scoring: Allisan McGowan 18, Kierson Maydew 10, Hoover 9, Rasmussen 7, Strobel 5, Staats 4, Fincham 3, Johnson 2, Garcia 2