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No. 10 Pratt pulls away late in Winter Jam semis

Ellsworth v Pratt boys
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 8:33 PM CST
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HOISINGTON, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Sometimes four is enough. Just four Pratt players scored in Friday’s Winter Jam semifinal game against Ellsworth. Still, the No. 10 Greenbacks were able to outscore the Bearcats 21-8 in the final eight minutes to pull away for a 52-31 win.

Ellsworth came as close as 24-21 on a Riley Stone basket with three minutes to play in the third. The Greenbacks stole the momentum back on an assist from Carson Hoeme to Aiden Crow, then a steal and deuce from junior J’air Johnson put Pratt in front 31-23 with a quarter to play.

The sophomore Stone scored just seconds into the fourth quarter but it was all Frogs after that. Johnson connected on a 3-pointer, then 6-3 senior Karter Hoeme added a drive. Johnson took a steal the distance and the Greenbacks pulled ahead 38-27 with 5:13 remaining.

Down the stretch, Crow warmed for the Greenbacks with seven points coming in the fourth quarter and 12 of his game-high 17 points coming in the second half.

Ellsworth stayed in the game most of the way, leading 8-7 on a Will Cravens basket in the final minute of the first. A 3-pointer from Johnson put Pratt back on top 10-8 by the end of the frame.

Offenses slowed in the second quarter but that just meant more rebounds for Hoeme inside. With a strong offensive showing in the fourth quarter, he finished with 11 points and 18 rebounds. Nine of those boards came in the first two quarters, and he grabbed six more in the fourth.

Crow’s 17 points for Pratt led all players. Johnson added 14 points, Hoeme got his double-double, and senior Matthew Shanline took a late steal the distance to reach double figures with 10 points.

Lane Rolfs was the lone Bearcat to reach double figures with 10 points. Cravens had a busy night with nine points and 10 rebounds, and Stone scored all eight of his points in the second half.

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