Pratt men dominate basketball court opponents

Gale Rose
Pratt Community College freshman Tommy Thomas (#23) hits a two pointer against the Northwest Kansas Technical College Mavericks in a game dominated by the Beavers who went on to take a convincing 87-58 win.

It's not over until it's over was the theme at Pratt Community College basketball games Saturday against the Northwest Kansas Technical College Mavericks. Both PCC men's and women's teams had slow first halves but the Lady Beavers made a late game comeback to tie their game and went on to win, in overtime, 63-56. The men played the Mavericks even for the first two quarters then broke out and dominated the second half and took an 87-58 victory for the Beavers.

The Lady Beavers struggled to stay close to Northwest, especially in the second quarter when they could manage only seven points. At the half, the Beavers found themselves on the short end of a 29-22 ball game. In the Third with 6:44 to go, the Mavericks held a 12 point lead but both teams scored 13 points in the third and the Lady Beavers headed to the fourth trailing 42-35.

Then the Lady Beavers got more aggressive on defense and cut into the Mavericks lead on offense, especially at the free throw line and drew even at the end of the fourth to take the game into overtime. Their momentum held and the defense kept Northwest to just two points in overtime to give the Lady Beavers a 63-56 win.

The Lady Beavers shooting percentages were 37.3 percent for field goals, 23.1 percent for three pointers but at the free throw line, they hit a sizzling 81.5 percent for the entire game with 88.9 percent in the fourth quarter during their comeback.

Leading the Lady Beavers were Tytiana Haamid with 18 points and 10 rebounds, Rachel Tippens with 17 points and 6 rebounds, Rylee Alexander 10 points and 10 rebounds.

In the men's game, the Beavers played the Mavericks close all the first half with the Mavericks biggest lead of game at just one point with 4:24 left in the first half then came to life on both offense and defense and took an 87-58 victory over the Mavericks.

The Beavers offense stuck with the Mavericks, but, in general, were too cool in the first half, said men's basketball coach Coach Sean Flynn.

The Beavers had just eight suited up for the game. It was a fast paced affair that tested their endurance, both physically and mentally.

It's hard to play with this many guys. When the physical goes, the mental goes, Flynn said.

But the team got tough and came out in the second half and took over both the offense and defense that out rebounded the Mavericks 43-36 and outscored them 48-22 in the second.

"That was a good half of offense," Flynn said. "We executed one of the best of basketball we've had this year."

The Beavers found the range with everybody putting numbers in the scoring column. Deontae Dave hit 14 points and had 7 rebounds, while Tommy Thomas hit 19 pints and had 7 rebounds but it was Jamel Horton who came off the bench and lit up the scoreboard with 26 points and 6 rebounds. Zool Kueth lead all rebounders with 8 while Julian Eziukwu had 7 points and 7 rebounds.

Horton, Kueth and Harrison Eghan each had at least 24 minutes of playing time off the bench.

While the offense was finding the range from all over the court, the defense slammed the door on the Mavericks and got six stops in a row, Flynn said.

The aggressive play lead to lots of Beaver fouls. Eziukwu fouled late in the game and Thomas, Carlos Montiel and Horton all had three fouls. But the Mavericks were committing fouls too. The Beavers were 17-21 at the charity stripe for 81 percent for the game while the Mavericks were just 47.1 percent from the line.

While Flynn was pleased with his team's performance, he wants them to continue working on their turnover ratio. They weren't guarding well in the first half and it was a little sloppy. Defense needs to be at a higher level when the team is struggling offensively, Flynn said.

Next up for the Beavers is the last regular home game of the season on Feb. 19 against the Dodge City Community College Conquistadors. The Ladies start at 5:30 p.m and the men tip off at 7:30 p.m.