Pratt girls topple Hays, 53-50
The Lady Greenback basketball team had an exciting win on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at home against the Hays Indians, 53-50.
“The team just battled on both ends of the floor and executed what we wanted them to do defensively and offensively,” Head Coach Dustin Hildebrand said. “We have talked about our team needing to do the little things every time and for the most part that’s what we did and they did it as a team.”
Hildebrand attributes the win to the team’s push to get ahead of Hays in the first quarter.
“Hays came out in a zone and we moved the ball and made three 3-pointers early in the 1st quarter, which took them out of the zone the rest of the game,” Hildebrand explained. “Had we come out and struggled shooting they would have sat in the zone the entire game.”
Hildebrand thought this was the best shooting game the team has had so far this season, but the Greenbacks struggled in the third quarter.
“When Hays went to man defense, especially in the 3rd quarter, they really got out in the passing lanes and made it difficult to move the ball,” Hildebrand said. “We had some turnovers in there that let them come back and tied the game going into the 4th.”
They were able to build up momentum again for the final quarter of the game, winning by just three points.
“I was most proud of the 4th quarter,” Hildebrand said. “Getting down several times and coming back any of those times would have been easy to just fold. We didn’t and that was a big factor in us pulling out the win.”
Senior Dani Staats, sophomore Lexi Walker, and junior Sian Helfrich stood out to Hildebrand as major scorers for the game.
“Dani Staats had 22 points and really came through in the 4th quarter with several plays as well as 2 big free throws at the end of the game to seal it,” Hildebrand said. “Lexi walker hit three 3’s, a couple early against their zone and then hit one later in the 4th quarter that kept the game tied.”
Hildebrand thought Sian Helfrich had her best scoring game yet this season.
“She had a couple drives, and then hit the go-ahead 3-pointer when down by 1,” Hildebrand said. “That got us over the hump (to) take the final lead.”
Hildebrand wants to work on handling defensive pressure similar Hays for future games.
“There will be other teams that really get out and put pressure on our perimeter players,” Hildebrand said. “We need to be able to counter that and execute and not turn the ball over.”
Overall, Hildebrand was happy with how the team performed and was proud of them for persevering.
“I thought we played a solid game,” said Hildebrand. “We had a rough go in the 3rd quarter where we only scored 4 points, but just never gave up.”
Hildebrand thought that win gave the team some confidence to build on for the rest of the season.
“Hopefully (we) can use this as momentum as we get rolling into tournament and league play,” said Hildebrand.
The Greenbacks were scheduled to play in Haven on Friday, Jan 10, but the girls and boys games were rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 6 in Haven.
They will face Larned again on Friday, Jan. 17 in Larned.