PHS girls fell in the Sub-State finals Saturday at Holcomb, losing 42-29 to Hugoton.

A frequent challenge for the Pratt High girls basketball team this season has been going long stretches without scoring. That issue was in evidence Saturday night as the Lady Greenbacks fell 42-29 to #1-seeded 14-7 Hugoton in the Sub-State Finals at Holcomb.

With a trip to State at stake, neither team was having much luck getting the ball in the hoop in the early going. Half of the first quarter was gone before either team scored. By the end of the first period, the score was just 7-2 Hugoton- a Rheagan Hoover bucket all the Greenbacks could muster.

Pratt was missing the shots they did get, and 10 turnovers in the first half prevented them from getting as many shots as they should have. Hugoton pounded the offensive glass (8 offensive rebounds in the first half), but luckily for Pratt, the Eagles’ put-back attempts were mostly off the mark.

PHS was down 9-2 with 5:35 left in Q2, but then went on their best run of the game, outscoring Hugoton 11-3 over the next stretch of minutes. Hoover had 4 more points, Kaitlyn Rasmussen 4 and Dani Staats 1 in the uprising. A Kierson Maydew Windex bucket with :10 left gave Pratt the lead 13-12 at the intermission.

Hugoton came storming out of the halftime locker room, throwing a 6-0 run up on the board. An Allisan McGowan trey slowed the bleeding a bit for PHS, but Hugoton had retaken the lead 20-16 halfway through the third quarter. By the end of the stanza, the Eagles had stretched their lead out to 28-20.

Hugoton had increased their aggression offensively, attacking quicker and more purposefully; and they had turned the defensive intensity up a notch, causing more Pratt turnovers with their trapping. The game just gradually slipped away from Lady Green as the Eagles put them back on their heels a little bit.

As the 4th quarter proceeded, PHS was unable to make any kind of a run and Hugoton was content to remain deliberate and get to the foul line on offense as Pratt had to foul in the late going. The Eagles tallied 15 pts from the charity stripe in the second half to 4 for Pratt. When time expired, Hugoton had downloaded its ticket to State with the 42-29 win.

“Both teams were tight early on,” PHS head coach Dustin Hildebrand observed. “Hugoton finally got settled in. I don’t know that we ever did.”

“The girls battled, they never gave up,” Coach Hildebrand continued. “It just wasn’t our night.”

“The girls improved so much throughout the season. We played our best basketball down the stretch,” Hildebrand concluded. “The effort and attitude were always good. I’m proud of all of them.” The Lady Greenbacks end the season at 10-12.