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Pratt holds off CCCC, 63-52

Chasing for nearly the entire game, the Cloud County Community College Thunderbirds were unable to track down the Pratt Community College Beavers.
Cloud County, which led just once in the game at 2-0, fell behind by 13 points in the second half.
The T-Birds would pull within two points on three occasions in the second half before Pratt used a 12-2 run to secure a 63-52 Jayhawk Conference victory Saturday afternoon in Bryant Gymnasium.
“We had a tough time scoring the basketball at times today, and once we cut the deficit down to a single possession in the fourth we stopped playing defense for a bit, and that allowed them to push the lead back out and we never recovered,” Cloud County coach Brett Erkenbrack said.
Cloud County, now 7-11 overall and 2-6 in conference play, scored the first two points of the game.
Pratt,11-5 overall and 5-2 in the league, tossed in the next five, and would not trail again.
A basket by LaKya Leslie pulled Cloud County within one point, 7-6, midway through the first quarter.
Pratt used a 13-3 spurt to open up a 20-9 advantage.
Two free throws by Jordan Mathis 28 seconds into the second quarter put the Beavers up 22-9.
Pratt knocked down 15 of 19 free throws in the first half, and Cloud County did not go to the line.
The Beavers finished 24 of 33 while the T-Birds were just one of two.
“Give credit to Pratt as they were more aggressive than us getting to the basket, and it gave them opportunities at the free throw line,” Erkenbrack said, “It seemed like they also gave us some opportunities to get to the basket but we weren’t aggressive enough to convert the opportunities or draw fouls that would give us free throw opportunities. When we get outscored by 23 points at the free throw line like we did today, it’s going to be difficult against any opponent we play.”
Cloud County would chip away at the Pratt lead over the final seven minutes of the half.
A three-point basket by Alyssa Castilleja as time ran out pulled the T-Birds within six points, 28-22.
Jacy Dalinghaus scored the first two points of the second half to make it a 28-24 game.
Getting three-point baskets by Rache Tippens and Jazmin George, the Beavers would push the lead to 36-26.
Cloud County used a 12-4 surge to get within two points, 40-38, on a basket by Dalinghaus.
Pratt upped the lead to six points.
Castilleja hit another three and Dalinghaus made one of two free throws to again make it a two point game, 44-42.
Scoring the final two points of the third quarter and the first two of the fourth, the Beavers led 48-42.
Haven Hamilton scored on consecutive possessions to again get the T-Birds within two points, 48-46, with 8:43 remaining in the game.
Scoring eight straight points, Pratt went up 56-46.
Jasmina Jones hit a jumper for Cloud County, but the Beavers answered with a three by Janell Douvier and a free throw by Dymond McElrath, and led 60-48.
The T-Birds would get no closer than 10 points over the final 3:46.
Castilleja and Dalinghaus were the leading scorers for Cloud County with nine points each.
Leslie finished with eight points and eight rebounds.
Jones scored eight points off the bench.
Mathis tossed in 16 points for Pratt. Rylee Alexander added 11 points.
Cloud County will host Butler Community College tonight.


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