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Pratt girls advance to finals in Hoisington

Pratt junior Gabby Gatlin scored a game-high 14 points to help the Greenbacks past Ellsworth...
Pratt junior Gabby Gatlin scored a game-high 14 points to help the Greenbacks past Ellsworth and into the Winter Jam championship game. (photo by Mike Courson)(Mike Courson)
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 7:50 PM CST
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HOISINGTON, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Playing as the No. 6 seed in this year’s Cardinal Winter Jam, Ellsworth pulled off an early upset by beating No. 3 Ellinwood in Monday’s dramatic first-round contest. Friday the Bearcats ran out of magic as No. 2 seed Pratt led the entire second half en route to a 33-23 win.

The Bearcats picked up early points from senior Natalie Rolfs to lead 5-2 early. Pratt took its first lead of the contest just past the midway point in the first quarter on a Lexi Walker three. The Greenbacks maintained a 9-7 lead after one quarter.

Both offenses turned sluggish in the second with a combined 13 points and just three field goals from inside the arc. The difference came on the perimeter where Walker and junior Gabby Gatlin each canned threes for Pratt. Gatlin added the other field goal for a 17-12 Greenback lead at the break.

Several times Pratt threatened to pull away for good in the second half. Gatlin added five more points in the third, and Walker connected on another trey as the Pratt advantage grew to 28-18.

The Bearcats got on early 3-pointer from sophomore Paityn Tenbrink to open the fourth. Rolfs added a putback midway through the final frame to again cut the deficit to seven points but Ellsworth never seriously threatened. Gatlin hit a late jumper, then her steal resulted in two free throws to fend off any hopes of an Ellsworth comeback.

Gatlin led all players with 14 points and also grabbed six rebounds. Walker added nine points, and senior Alyssa Miller grabbed six boards to go with her five points.

Rolfs was the lone Lady Bearcat to reach double figures with 10 points and five boards. Tenbrink hit a pair of treys in the first half to finish with six points.

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