Big first half enough for De Soto boys
De Soto's 43-41 win Tuesday at Santa Fe Trail was a tale of two halves.
It appeared the Wildcats could do no wrong early as De Soto built a 32-20 advantage at the intermission.
But the second half was a different story.
"We just quit playing basketball," De Soto coach Jason Generally said. "We did an excellent job of playing defense and sprinting into our offense, but in the second half we just quit playing basketball."
Luckily for the Wildcats they never relinquished a lead they worked so hard to attain in the game's first 16 minutes.
A key point in the game -- and possibly the season -- came when senior guard Ryan Brown fouled out of the game late in the third period.
"I probably should have pulled Ryan out late in the third period," Generally said. "But we weren't playing real well, and I didn't want to compound the situation."
Although Generally would just as soon have Brown for the full 32 minutes, he was impressed with how the Wildcats were able to execute and get the win without him.
"Hopefully the other guys realized they could step up and do what Ryan is asked to do," he said.
For three periods, Brown was a defensive wonder. Despite giving up seven inches in the middle, his defense was critical, as the Wildcats shut down the Chargers in the paint.
Brown's younger brother Danny also played well for the Wildcats. Danny took what the defense gave him in the narrow win. Instead of panicking when nothing seemed to work well for him, Brown went inside instead of lofting three-pointers.
"He didn't force anything," Generally said. "He was poised and very patient with the ball. Danny could have tried to put it all on his shoulders but instead played off of his teammates."
Santa Fe Trail made the game interesting when it cut the deficit to as low as two points late in the waning minutes. But De Soto ran more than a minute off the clock in one possession and then made six of eight free throws down the stretch.
Brown led the way for De Soto with 16 points by connecting on seven field goals and making both of his free throws.
Josh Arnold and Hunter Noe both chipped in eight points apiece.
Santa Fe Trail's Carter led the way for the hosts by scoring 11 points. Guy chipped in with nine points, while Conklin and Musgrave buried eight points each.
The Wildcats will be at home against Perry-Lecompton Friday with a tip off scheduled for 8:30 p.m.
"(Spencer) Kennedy stands about 6-7 and is an excellent athlete," Generally said of their next opposition. "It's going to be a tough game."
Generally added that as long as the Wildcats are able to sprint into their offense and at the same time -- limit the Chargers points in the paint -- that his team would be alright.