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Panthers lose third straight game, 59-20
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Ethan Henderson of Great Bend defends high-scoring Micah Swank (13) throwing an inbounds pass during Friday nights action. - photo by Mack McClure Great Bend Tribune

PRATT — The gym rat was the difference Friday night when Pratt High School entertained Great Bend in non-conference boys’ basketball action.
Micah Swank, an Emporia State University signee, outscored the Panthers by himself, scoring 21 points during a 59-20 romp in Pratt’s season opener.
“He’s a really, really good player,” Great Bend head coach Chris Battin said of 6-foot-1 Swank, the son of Pratt head coach David Swank. “He works hard in the offseason and is a gym rat … probably the first one to practice and last one to leave.
“He’s always constantly working on his ball-handling and his shooting, and it’s paid off. He’ll be a four-year player at Emporia State, there’s no doubt. He’s just dedicated to basketball and knows what he wants to do.”
Similar to last weekend’s semifinal loss to DeSoto during the Hays City Shoot-Out, the Panthers found themselves too big a hole to dig out of.
Micah Swank buried two of his five 3-pointers during a 14-2 first-quarter surge as Great Bend never threatened. It was 25-9 at halftime and 42-13 entering the fourth quarter.
The Panthers (1-3) were hesitant in pulling the trigger on perimeter shots when running their half-court offense, and turned the ball over time and again.
“We’ve got to regroup and refocus,” Battin said. “We’ve got to find some leadership on this team, find some guys that are willing to step up and prepared to play basketball.
“We’ve got to take care of the basketball, that’s the bottom line. That’s the bottom line. When you turn it over 23 times, you don’t get many shots at the basket.”
The Panthers, led by senior guard Connor Sell’s seven points, were playing again without junior point guard Matt Marshall, who has a hamstring injury, and returning leading scorer Jace Bowman, who is out until after the holidays as he recovers from knee surgery.
Moreover, Roderick Frise, a 6-foot-4 post player, has quit the team, a topic Battin refused to discuss.
Great Bend travels to Manhattan on Tuesday night for non-conference action, the finale before the holidays.


At Pratt
Pratt Middle School



Pratt 59, Great Bend 20

      Connor Sell 2 3-4 7, Mauricio Uribe 1 0-2 2, Chad Touslee 0 0-0 0, Brock Ibarra 0 0-0 0, Bryce Beck 0 2-4 2, Gabe Joiner 0 1-2 1, Ethan Henderson 2 1-3 5, Blaise Cain 0 0-0 0, Wyatt Bayless 1 1-2 3. Totals 6 8-17 20.
PRATT (1-0)

      Garrett Smith 0 0-0 0, Skylar Dean 2 0-0 4, B.J. Dean 4 0-0 9, Thomas Mayberry 0 1-4 1, Micah Swank 7 2-3 21, Austin McClain 1 0-0 2, Cooper Batman 0 0-0 0, Dylan Besser 3 1-2 7, Chase Hageman 1 0-2 2, Shawn Ramos 0 0-0 0, Liam Kahmeyer 1 0-0 2, Grayson Hostetler 0 0-0 0, Payson Maydew 4 3-3 11. Totals 22 7-14 59.
Great Bend            2   7   4    7   —  20      
Pratt                     14  11 17  17  —  59

     Three-point goals — Pratt 6 (Swank 5, B. Dean); Great Bende (None). Total fouls — Pratt 16, Great Bend 16. Fouled out — None.