Wildcats fend off Piper rally
Ryan Brown hit the shot heard around De Soto Friday in the Wildcat's thrilling 39-36 win over Kaw Valley foe Piper.
Just before Brown's heroics it looked as though it would be another game in which De Soto would build a lead and then find a way to lose it, especially after the Pirates' Daniel Rezin tied the score with a layup with nine seconds left in the game. The play capped a fourth-quarter rally that saw the Pirates erase a 35-27 Wildcat advantage heading into the fourth period.
But this time the Wildcats found a way to win when Brown stuck a three-pointer into the net at the buzzer.
"I wanted that shot," Brown said. "We worked so hard to get where we were. I didn't want to let the other guys down."
Brown, who sank three treys on the night for nine points, also had a hand in building the eight-point lead in the third period.
His pinpoint-accurate passes put his teammates in position for easy baskets throughout the third period, as the Wildcats stretched an 18-17 halftime lead.
He had four assists in the period and a three-pointer that came on the heels of a trey by his brother, Danny Brown, with 2:09 left in the period, giving De Soto a 33-25 lead.
The Brown brothers combined for a season-high five three-pointers on the night.
"We knew the three-pointer was there for us," Danny said. "It's always been there. But tonight it fell."
Ryan added, "We have pretty good shooters on this team, but we want to set up our offense first. Then if we have an open shot, coach wants us to knock it down."
The win was quite a turnaround from a week earlier when the Pirates shut out De Soto 20-0 in the fourth period, stretching a four-point third period lead into a 62-38 win.
"It feels good to get this win," Ryan said. "They beat us pretty bad up there, and we wanted to show them that we were better than that. We wanted to give them a better go."
Piper guard Marcus Carr hurt the Wildcats with his defense last time out. But it was his offense that De Soto was most concerned with stopping.
Several Wildcats took turns defending Carr, and they held him to just four points.
"We wanted to cut off his penetration," Danny said of Carr. "He's so quick and good with the ball, but we had good ballside help. We stopped his pass penetration and penetration with the dribble."
Neither team led by more than four points in the first half, which saw 10 lead changes and two ties. Wildcats scored eight-straight points in a two-minute span of the third period, getting some separation on Mike Allen's layup and the back-to-back treys.
Ryan Brown opened the second period with his first three-pointer of the game, giving the Wildcats the lead at 9-7. The teams traded baskets throughout the rest of the period with De Soto earning an 18-17 advantage at halftime.
Besides his nine points, Ryan Brown also led the Wildcats with a game-high seven rebounds. Danny Brown led De Soto with 14 points, and Pete Crall added eight tallies.
Josh Arnold chipped in four rebounds for the Wildcats.
Damian Young and Rezin led the Pirates with eight points each. Josh Wille and Mike Simmons contributed seven and six points, respectively.
Simmons led Piper with six rebounds, while Young added five.
De Soto connected on 16-of-33 (48.5 percent) shots from the field and just two-of-three free throws, while De Soto held Piper to 14 of 46 (30.4 percent) shooting from the floor and eight-of-14 (57.1 percent) charity tosses.
Piper won the battle of the boards by a 27-23 margin.
The Wildcats, 3-11, play Perry-Lecompton at home Friday with a tip off set for 8:30 p.m.