Wildcat hoopsters win first game in summer season league play
The De Soto boys basketball team matched its win total of last season's 1-15 record with a 64-44 season-opening victory over a Shawnee-based team at the JCGAA summer league in Shawnee.
Assistant Coach Mike Linehan said the Wildcats have improved their play in various ways and on both sides of the ball.
"You could tell they play defense better and have a better knowledge of the game of basketball," Linehan said. "They were guarding people with good help side."
Senior Justin Haub turned in a stellar performance for De Soto in the league opener game. He scored 20 points, including five three pointers. Haub, who played a lot on the junior varsity team, has gained confidence and is willing to be a team leader, according to the Wildcat coaches.
"He is stepping up and he has the senior attitude," Linehan said. "He is here to make the best of his last year."
The Wildcats are expecting to have a strong group of seniors for next season's team, including Willie Meier, who recently moved to the point guard position.
"Meier played point guard and did a fantastic job," Linehan said. "He handled the ball well and didn't get it stolen."
Senior Todd Manson has been committed to the basketball workouts during the summer. He regularly works out from 6 to 7:30 a.m., while many of his teammates are still sleeping.
Head coach Jason Generally said he was optimistic about the team's senior leadership as well as the younger athletes on the team.
"They have improved with defensive intensity and matured both mentally and physically," Generally said. "They are stronger now and a little bit better athletes."
The summer league team will play six more games this month against teams such as the KC Jazz, KC Camels and the Warriors. The Wildcats will also take part in a fall league before facing Kaw Valley League competition this winter.