Perry-Lecompton holds off late Cat rally
Spencer Kennedy could do no wrong in the first half, as he led Perry-Lecompton to a 48-34 win at De Soto last Friday.
Kennedy and his Kaw teammates were patient on offense in the first half, and it paid off to the tune of 48 percent shooting and a 26-19 lead after the first 16 minutes of action.
Kennedy found the bottom of the net on jumper after jumper, as he scored 12 points in the first half, leading all scorers.
De Soto, on the other hand, got the looks they wanted but couldn't convert.
"I thought we played well," said De Soto coach Jason Generally. "We just didn't shoot very well, though we got the shots we wanted."
Kennedy's luck soon ran out as the Wildcats made a defensive change in the second half that limited Kennedy to just three points during that time span.
"We had been switching off on him," Generally said of Kennedy. "But we decided to put Ryan (Brown) on him in the second half, and he did a good job.
"Ryan's so strong, and we thought if we put someone behind him it'd make him a little uncomfortable. I think we took him out of his comfort zone by making him shoot a little further out than what he's used to."
The ploy shut down Kennedy, but De Soto's shooting woes continued in the second half.
With five seconds left in the first half, Ryan Brown was fouled attempting a three-pointer. He connected on just one of the ensuing free throws, so Generally decided to run a set play to start the third period.
"We wanted to cut it to four, but Ryan's shot rimmed out," Generally said of the result of his first decision of the second half. "It was indicative of how the entire game went. We just couldn't score and started to force things after that."
Danny Brown opened the scoring in the third period by hitting a jumper, cutting the deficit to 26-21. But the Kaws went on an 11-2 run over the next 4:45, boosting their advantage to 37-23. Perry-Lecompton spread the wealth as four different players scored on the spree.
Pete Crall's jumper brought the score to 39-25 going into the final period.
The Kaws took their biggest lead of the game at 42-25 with 5:57 left in the game on a free throw and a layup.
But the Wildcats installed a 2-2-1 press and went on a 9-1 run, cutting the deficit to 43-34, forcing the Kaws to call a timeout with 1:54 left in the game.
With his Wildcats down by 15, Danny Brown showed his athletic ability by getting a steal and a dunk that brought the roof down.
On Perry-Lecompton's next possession, Josh Arnold stole another errant pass and dished to Mike Allen, who connected on two free throws after being fouled.
Danny Brown then got De Soto's third straight steal and was fouled driving in for another dunk. He made both free throws, cutting the deficit to nine points.
The Kaws made 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch, icing the win.
"We just kept playing hard and got the turnovers," Generally said of De Soto's late rally. "Danny really played well on both ends of the floor. Besides the steal and dunk he also had five or six blocked shots in the game."
Danny Brown led all scorers with 17 points and added nine rebounds for De Soto. Pete Crall contributed nine points and four rebounds. Josh Arnold and Ryan Brown chipped in with eight and seven rebounds, respectively.
Kennedy finished the game with 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
The Wildcats shot a cool 28-percent (13-of-46) from the floor and ripped the nets on seven-of-11 (63.6 percent) free throws.
Perry-Lecompton saw its field goal percentage dip to 44 percent (18-for-41) and connected on 10-of-17 (58.8 percent) free throws.
De Soto out-rebounded the Kaws 31-28, but turned the ball over 18 times, compared to just 13 for Perry-Lecompton.
De Soto (3-13) travels to Immaculata Friday. Tip off is set for 8:30 p.m.