Pratt hands Otis-Bison ladies first loss to win Winter Jam

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HOISINGTON, Kan. - The girls' finale proved to be far less dramatic. Otis-Bison entered the game with a perfect 12-0 record but without Maddie Wiltse, one of the Central Prairie League's top scorers, on the floor in the second half, the Lady Greenbacks shot their way to a title.

"Last year was our first time being in this tournament and we got fifth," said Pratt senior Allisan McGowan. "We've been working hard in the offseason and getting in the gym to get us where we are now. We hope to keep the momentum from this tournament going into the (Central Kansas League) to get some more wins under our belt before substate."

Early on it was Pratt senior Jenna Fincham coming off the bench for a spark. She connected on three 3-pointers and added an offensive board and steal in the first quarter as Pratt pulled ahead 16-5.

"It was good to see her have that," said Pratt coach Dustin Hildebrand. "She's had some struggles shooting the last few games. She's stayed after it. We worked this week on our shooting. I told her she can because she's done it. For her that's a great confidence booster. Our team gets excited when someone like that comes in and does that. It was a big, big spark for us."

Wiltse scored the lone Otis-Bison field goal in the first quarter. In the second, senior Sheridan Ewy warmed up with a pair of threes. Wiltse added a jumper and the Lady Cougars got as close as 21-17.

McGowan was big behind the arc all night. She hit a pair of threes in the second quarter and made five of her first eight shots downtown to lead all players with 18 points. Her trey with 2:13 to play in the first half gave Pratt a 24-17 advantage, and that lead held through halftime.

"All of us guards stay after practice every day and shoot threes," McGowan said. "It was just in the moment and momentum was on our side so we just knocked them down."

Wiltse went down with an injury just before the halftime buzzer. She never made it back on the court in the second half. Pratt used three triples from McGowan to pull ahead 33-24 after three.

With no inside threat, Otis-Bison opened the final frame 0 for 9 from the floor. With the Lady Greenback bench in the game, Lady Cougar junior Cristen Trapp scored from the free throw line with 62 seconds left. Junior Cora Anderson later added the lone Otis-Bison field goal in the final quarter.

Wiltse was held to just seven points and four boards before making her exit. Anderson added eight points and 11 boards inside for Otis-Bison, but the Cougars lost their power inside. Ewy provided nine points from the outside.

"That was the main game plan coming in," Hildebrand said. "(Wiltse is) a great player. You hate to see her go down because we want to play against the best. I thought we did a pretty good job. She was still going to get her points but we limited it as best we could."

Pratt led by as many as 24 points down the stretch. Freshman Sierra Dunlap provided three boards in the final two minutes off the bench. Fincham scored 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the outside and also grabbed six rebounds. Junior Danielle Staats hit a pair of early treys and finished with 11 points.