De Soto boys lose to Perry, 43-57
After one half of play Friday against Perry-Lecompton, De Soto looked like it would even its record going into the winter break. After all, the Wildcats were up by four and had the Kaws leading scorer Spencer Kennedy in foul trouble.
But the good players always play smart when they need to and find a way to win, and Kennedy did just that.
The 6-foot-7 center scored 17 of his game-high 20 points in the second half, mostly on second-chance points, including 11 points in the fourth period when the Kaws pulled away for a 57-43 win.
"We simply couldn't get a rebound," said De Soto coach Jason Generally. "And because of that, we couldn't get any stops defensively. This team will battle all year, but we need to find a way to correct that (rebounding)."
Generally was quick to point out that at 6-foot-3 Danny Brown was the tallest player on the Wildcat roster. Thus, Kennedy had little trouble going up and over the Wildcat defense for rebounds. In fact, Generally couldn't recall a time when Kennedy rebounded in front of his De Soto players.
"It was really a slow, painful death in the second half," Generally said. "When we'd miss a shot and then they'd get two or three chances at the basket it became very frustrating for our players."
On the positive side, Ryan Brown (20) and Danny Brown (12) continued to scorch the nets by combining for more than half of the Wildcats 43 points. But Generally would just as soon see a little more balance offensively in his lineup.
"We need to find an answer besides Ryan and Danny," Generally said.
The Wildcats did try to get Pete Crall better shots at the basket by putting him out on the wing where he could cut to the basket. And it worked -- to an extent.
"He did get quite a few opportunities," Generally said. "But he'd turn the corner and miss a lay-up because he then had to go up against Kennedy."
The dominance of Kennedy, who had six third-period points and 11 in the final stanza, made Generally realize the Wildcats needed to work on getting more space offensively if they are to turn their season around.
De Soto built its halftime advantage by outscoring Perry-Lecompton 16-14 and 10-8 in the first two periods, respectively, taking a 26-22 advantage. But the Kaws out-scored De Soto 35-17 in the second half.
"I think we're playing alright," he said. "We know what we need to do. We just need to carry out our plan. We were hoping for 4-0, but realistically we were hoping for 2-2.
"We didn't get that, but we'll keep working. I believe this team will win because they know what to do."
The Wildcats (1-3) are at home against Tonganoxie for a 7:30 p.m. matchup Jan. 7. The home stand will continue against Immaculata at 8:30 p.m. Jan. 10.