Christmas came early for the Greenbacks as they swept visiting Haven on their home court Friday night.
The girls match-up was heavily anticipated, with both schools ranked in their respective class. The Pratt Lady Greenbacks were ranked 3rd in Class 4A-Division 2 while the Haven Lady Wildcats were 9th in Class 3A. It was also a Central Kansas League showdown.
Early foul trouble for Pratt's low post scorer, Jenson Maydew made life difficult for the young Greenbacks, but the team fought through it and managed to score four points in seven seconds to close out the first quarter and tie the Lady Wildcats at 15.
The second quarter was a knockdown, dragged out affair with neither team really separating themselves. Pratt led 21-17 at the break.
The second half finally allowed the Greenbacks the chance to have their full offense on display with Maydew beginning to cause problems from the inside and outside, knocking down a three, then backing down a defender and scoring from close range in quick succession.
Pratt had a lead near double digits late in the third quarter, but Haven wouldn't go quite go away. The Lady Cats even had a chance to make things interesting down three points in the closing seconds, but they made a free throw when they needed a miss to have any chance at a winner. Pratt made its free throws and escaped with a 45-42 victory going into the holidays.
"It was important for us to get that win going into the break. You don't want to spend a lot of time going into the break thinking about a loss. So, it was good for us. We got a lot of things that we learned tonight. It was also good for us to have to fight and battle and meet those kind of challenges because it made our team stronger and we persevered, said Pratt head coach, Emmanuel Adigun."
The boys game featured two teams coming off midweek losses in CKL play, Haven to Kingman and Pratt to Hesston.
Pratt jumped out to the early lead thanks to a couple nice jumpers by junior Spencer Sullivan. However, Haven had an answer through Tim Hendrixson. The Wildcats' junior was a tough guard for the Greenbacks.
Pratt's 18-12 advantage after the first quarter quickly turned into a 28-23 halftime deficit. The first half was mired by 25 fouls called on the two teams.
The third quarter proved to be Haven's undoing as Sullivan and the Greenbacks began a three point shooting barrage. Sullivan hit back to back threes from each corner to take the lead, which Pratt never gave back. In fact, they held the Wildcats scoreless in the quarter en route to a 52-42 win.
David Swank, Pratt boys basketball coach said, "This was a really great win for us. We're inexperienced. We've got a good group of juniors and a couple freshman throughout there and then some seniors that play but not a lot of experience on this team. So, for us to get a win after opening against Andale and Hesston it's great for our kids and we have to get ready to jump in after the break with Kingman and Hays, but a great win for our kids to wrap-up 2013 and get ready for the new year."
Sullivan had a game high 21 points for the Greenbacks. Hendrixson led Haven with 18.