BY BUDDY TABLER
Special to the Tribune
PRATT – Behind a full-court trapping defense the No. 4-ranked 3A Larned boys roared to a 21-9 and blitzed the Pratt Greenbacks 59-27 Friday in a non-league basketball game.
Brock Skelton led a well balanced attack with 15 points. Chance Sanger scored 10 points and Dillan Smith and Mason Perez added nine apiece and Melo Bryant had eight points.
The Indians were a solid 23 of 41 from the field for 56% and converted 12 of 17 free throw attempts. The Indians made one 3-point shot which was an aberration as the Indians are normally a strong outside shooting team.
The Indians’ full-court pressure forced Pratt into 19 turnovers. It also disrupted Pratt’s ability to score as the Greenbacks made 10 field goals in 30 attempts for 33%.
“We’re a very athletic team,” said Larned coach Jerrod Smith, We’re not big so we have to utilize our quickness with smothering defense. I am pleased to say, we did that well tonight.”
Larned led 40-13 at halftime. The Indians pushed their lead to 58-18 at the end of the third stanza as coach Smith went deeper into his bench.
Larned’s bench players played the entire fourth quarter and added one point. The fourth quarter was played with a running clock.
Depth was a key for Larned as the Indians regularly used nine players.
“We have a lot of depth and, fortunately, there is no drop-off, especially in defensive pressure,” Smith said. “That is key for us in our abilities to win.”
The Greenbacks were led by Matthew Shanline with eight points, Grant Younie six and Jarrett Bates five.
Larned plays Macksville Monday at the Gene Keady Basketball Classic in Larned.