De Soto boys fall in last-minute setback
The last time De Soto faced Lorenzo Lasley and his teammates, it wound up in a 73-42 blood bath for De Soto as Lasley got hot for 28 points.
But this time, the Wildcats held him to just 16 points and 11 rebounds as they saw their last minute rally fall short in a 41-33 Kaw Valley loss at Piper Tuesday night.
"We knew we would have to limit the number of possessions they would get," said De Soto coach Jason Generally. "And then we wanted to run some sets offensively so we could get some good shots."
But the Wildcats had to junk the idea in the second half when they found themselves behind the eight ball by a 21-7 margin.
"We played OK in the first half," said 6-2 senior Justin Haub. "If we wanted to be in the game at all though, we knew we would have to pick it up a little in the second half."
The news wasn't all bad for De Soto at halftime, however. Their game plan did hold Lasley to just six points at the break.
"Our main focus was to shut him (Lasley) down tonight," admitted Haub. "And then we wanted to contain them at the point."
The Pirates looked as if they were going to jump all over the Wildcats when they opened up a 41-21 advantage with just 5:12 left in the game.
But as has been the case all season, De Soto didn't give up and finally got some shots to fall late in the final period.
Andrew Thornbrugh started the rally with a lay-up as the Wildcats ran off the final 12 points of the game and held Piper scoreless for over five minutes.
Willie Meier and Todd Manson each hit a three in the run with Manson's coming at the final gun from outside.
"The way our kids finished was incredible," said Generally. "They just kept hanging around like they have most of the season."
Jonathan Gray led the Wildcat attack with 10 points. Manson chipped in seven tallies on the night.
Both teams connected on two of four free throws and grabbed 33 rebounds.
The Wildcats shot well below 50 percent (14 of 51) on the evening, but only turned the ball over 13 times.
Piper, on the other hand, shot 35 percent from the field and turned the ball over just nine times.
In other action last week, the Wildcats lost a pair of Kaw Valley games to Santa Fe Trail (Thursday) and Perry Lecompton (Friday).
De Soto trailed Santa Fe Trail 16-14 after the first period on the strength of a pair of three pointers by Justin Haub and six of 11 shooting from the field as a team.
The Wildcats took their biggest lead of the game when Willie Meier drove around the Charger defense and found the lane open. His lay-up put the Wildcats up 9-4 with 3:40 left in the period.
But Santa Fe Trail scored in threes on three-straight possessions to take the lead for good at 13-9 with 1:36 left in the period.
Eighteen first half turnovers, including 10 in the second period, eventually caught up with the Wildcats and spoiled any chance they had of an upset.
After Todd Manson knotted the score at 16-16 with 6:28 left before halftime, the Wildcats went into a huge dry spell.
The Chargers went on an 18-0 run over the rest of the period to grab a 34-16 advantage at intermission.
Thanks to the turnovers, the Chargers were able to cash in on easy scoring opportunities in the run.
While De Soto could only connect on 1-of-5 field goal tries, in the period, Santa Fe Trail hit on 8 of 18 shots.
Santa Fe Trail extended its lead to 52-25 after the third period and connected on 11 of 16 free throws in the final eight minutes to secure the 75-37 win.
Gray led the De Soto offense with 12 points on the night. Haub scored six points, while Manson chipped in with five.
The Chargers saw four players score in double figures. Ben Fawl and Cameron Babb each hit for a game-high 17 points. Brian Kral and Ryan Hulings scored 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Against Perry Lecompton, the Wildcats fell behind 12-1, with 2:54 left in the opening period, and 18-4 after the first eight minutes, to lose a 59-27 decision to the Kaws.
P-L built their lead to 25-6 with 4:11 left before intermission, before De Soto went on a 7-0 run. Because of the run, the Wildcats cut the deficit to 25-13 with 2:09 left before halftime.
Meier followed his missed free throw with a rebound and put back to start the run. Thornbrugh finished it by finding. Haub and Kyle Andrews open for scores.
The Kaws, however, went on to take a 29-13 lead at intermission.
Perry Lecompton held De Soto scoreless for 5:45 of the third period and took a 47-18 lead into the final period.
The Wildcats lost a 47-45 decision to Perry Lecompton earlier in the year, but fell by 32 this time around.
Manson led De Soto scorers with eight points on the night. Andrews and Haub chipped in six and five points, respectively.
Aaron Swaggerty led a trio of Kaw players in double figures with a game-high 16 points. Aaron Spreer and Justin Zimmerman added 10 points each.
De Soto, 1-15, plays host to Lansing to Friday night at 8:30. The Wildcats fell to the Lions 64-25 earlier in the season.
"If we come out and play like we did tonight (Tuesday) we will be in the game," said Haub. "We have to be patient on offense and play solid defense to have a chance to be in the game."