As the Fall sports season comes to a close, the Pratt Community College women's basketball team opened up the Winter sports season at home with a matchup against the Sterling College Junior Varsity team. The Beavers and Warriors went head-to-head in a contest that marked the season opener for both sides. In the end, Pratt ran away with the lead and took the victory 79-37.
What started out as a back-and-forth game turned into a Beaver-basketball showcase. Both teams were locked in a stalemate at the end of the first quarter (12-12). PCC managed to turn the tables in the second quarter by outscoring the opposition 18-7.
The 10-minute turnaround was just the start of a landslide victory in favor of Pratt. The blue and white never allowed Sterling to score more than 12 points in a single quarter. In the second and fourth periods, Pratt even held the Warriors to a single-digit scoring number.
The edge that PCC took was a result of forcing several turnovers on the defensive end. At the end of 40 minutes, the Warriors found themselves in a hole with 43 turnovers. A combination of high-pressure defense and active hands played a role in the successes Pratt had. The Lady Beavers combined for an astounding 26 steals. Hefty pick-pocketing and passing lane coverage helped to force Sterling average more than one turnover every minute. The team was guided defensively by guard Brooke Offerle. In less than 13 minutes of play, Offerle amassed six steals.
The Beavers were not shy on the offensive side of the ball either. Three different athletes from PCC scored in double-figures. Two more players were a single bucket away from double-digit scoring marks. Freshman guard Jazmin George had a game-high in scoring with 14 points. Not far behind her was forward Rylee Alexander who scored 13 on the night.
"I thought that Sterling was well coached. They exposed some things in the first half that we have to improve on. Our team defense and communication have to improve," said Head Women's Basketball Coach John Ishee. "I was very happy with our sharing of the ball, establishing the post and getting inside-outside ball movement. I think we have a chance to be a very good team with continued work and focus. Our strength will be our depth if we continue to grow and stay healthy."
PCC women's basketball will return to action in front of their home crowd when they play Southwestern College on Nov. 5. The contest will tip off at 6 p.m.