PRATT — Whitney Tilley hit a go-ahead basket in the lane with 10.4 seconds left in regulation, lifting Pratt High School to a 33-32 victory over Great Bend on Friday night.
The Lady Panthers, now winless in four games, had a final opportunity with 1.4 seconds left after Pratt’s Dominque Staats fouled Great Bend senior sharpshooter Olivia Basye, giving her a one-and-one opportunity at the free-throw line.
But Basye’s foul shot bounded off the rim, and the Lady Greenbacks were able to narrowly escape with a victory in their season opener.
“They’re going to be a really good team,” Great Bend head coach Jason Tatkenhorst said of Pratt, which advanced to the Class 4A state tournament last season. “I know if you talked to Pratt, they’ll say they didn’t play very well.
“It was definitely our chance to get a win, and it was pretty frustrating not getting one. Did we show improvement? Yes, we showed improvement.”
The Lady Panthers were led in scoring by senior Brandi Schneider, who scored a season- and career-high 10 points. Basye added nine points and Liz Kutina scored eight. Both Schneider and Basye each shot in a pair of 3-pointers.
Great Bend, which travels to Manhattan on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. tip-off to close the play before the holidays, was able to match Pratt basket-for-basket throughout.
“I was proud of the team,” Tatkenhorst said of his team. “Pratt went ahead with a couple minutes left and we came back and got a basket and began switching baskets with them.
“It’s a team that’s kind of brittle, fragile after losing three games last weekend, and they showed that they are resilient.”
GBHS led 27-24 with 3:14 remaining after Regan Unruh’s steal and layup, and 30-27 after Schneider’s 3-pointer at the 1:36 mark.
But the Lady Greenbacks forged ahead, 31-30, after Haylie Hook answered with a 3 on the other end with 1:21 left in regulation.
Post player Liz Kutina scored in the lane off an inbounds play as GBHS retook the lead 32-31 with 28.6 seconds remaining and forcing Pratt to call a timeout with 22.2 seconds showing on the game clock, setting the stage for a frantic finish.
Great Bend seized an 18-16 lead at halftime after Basye knocked down a 3-pointer from the left baseline with 1:07 left in the second quarter.
The Lady Panthers came out strong out of the gates at the outset, building a 9-2 lead during the opening five minutes. Kutina hit back-to-back baskets, Schneider nailed a 14-footer from the right baseline and Basye hit a 3 at the 3:06 mark.
Pratt missed seven of its first eight shots from the floor and turned the ball over four times during the game’s opening five minutes.
As GBHS started committing turnovers, though, Pratt was able to creep back into contention, closing the gap to 10-8 after the Lady Panthers managed only a Basye free throw the rest of the opening quarter. They had eight turnovers in the first period and 12 by halftime.
Pratt went ahead 14-12 with 4:57 left in the half after an Aubrey Hoover basket, and then Great Bend outscored the Lady Greenbacks 6-4 the rest of the half, by virtue of a free throw by Hannah Hildebrand and two by Schneider, capped by Basye’s 3.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Pratt Middle School
Pratt 33, Great Bend 32
Haylie Hook 2 0-0 5, Aubrey Hoover 2 0-0 4, Martha Ramos 0 0-0 0, Emily Hook 0 0-0 0, Amy Olson 2 0-0 4, Dominique Staats 2 2-2 6, Jenson Maydew 4 0-0 8, Grace Fellhoelter 1 0-0 2, Whitney Tilley 2 0-0 4. Totals 15 2-2 33.
GREAT BEND (0-4)
Brandi Schneider 3 2-2 10, Emily Cruse 0 0-0 0, Olivia Basye 3 1-4 9, Katelyn Henning 0 0-0 0, Hannah Hildebrand 0 1-2 1, Liz Kutina 4 0-2 8, Regan Unruh 1 0-0 2, McKenna Mauler 0 0-0 0, Tarynn Stueder 0 0-0 0, Morgan Harwood 0 0-0 0, Kelsey Crosby 1 0-2 2. Totals 24 4-12 32.
Great Bend 10 8 4 10 — 32
Pratt 8 8 4 13 — 33
Three-point goals — Great Bend 4 (Basye 2, Schneider 2); Pratt 1 (Haylie Hook). Total fouls — Pratt 16, Great Bend 10. Fouled out — None.