De Soto ends skid with easy win over Chargers
Four weeks ago, De Soto's boys basketball team was flying high. It started the season with three wins in four games before the holiday break. Then the Wildcats won their first game of the new year, improving to 4-1.
But it has been a long, cold month since then. That was until Tuesday.
Their 62-38 win over Santa Fe Trail marked the first time this season, or in recent memory, that the Wildcats swept a conference opponent in a season. De Soto also beat the Chargers 43-41 back in December.
Despite the seven-game losing streak, De Soto coach Jason Generally was never ready to hit the panic button. In fact, he said his team was playing some of its best basketball during that winless stretch.
"The kids were desperate for a win," Generally said. "We played some pretty good teams during that winless stretch. Immac was a close game.
"We were right there in the first game of the Spring Hill tournament against Spring Hill. Then we're down three to Sumner at halftime and lost a close one against Osawatomie. The Gardner game was tied in the final minutes."
There is nothing better for an ailing team than a win. And there is nothing better for the Wildcats than to have Danny Brown clicking on all cylinders.
Brown got off to a good start when he scored 11 points in the opening period, helping De Soto to a 17-11 advantage. But it was the third period when he and the rest of his teammates really shined.
After escaping the first half with a slim 28-27 advantage, the Wildcats took off. Brown started a 23-4 run during the third leg of the game that stretched the halftime score from one point to 51-31.
After getting the ball 12 seconds into the period, Brown dribbled to his left and pulled up from 18 feet and hit. He then drilled a trey 39 seconds later, putting De Soto up 33-27.
Pete Crall scored his only points of the game when he got position underneath the backboard and tipped in a missed free throw, giving the Wildcats a double-digit lead for the first time in the game at 41-31.
De Soto then scored the final 10 points of the fourth period as the Wildcats stretched their advantage to 20 points.
A 10-0 run helped De Soto extend its lead to 61-31, opening the final period. Jake Carter ended a nine-minute dry spell for the Chargers when he hit a 6-foot jumper, narrowing the deficit to 61-33.
Carter was in double digits for Santa Fe Trail the last time the Chargers played against De Soto. But the 6-foot 8-inch sophomore had to deal with 6-1 De Soto senior Ryan Brown this time out.
"Ryan is so strong down low," Generally pointed out. "He was able to push him (Carter) out of the paint. Carter is not that strong yet, and we felt that if we could get him away from the basket, he wouldn't be able to hurt us."
Shutting down Carter wasn't a one-man task, however. In fact, the younger Brown made the biggest play on Carter when he jumped and slammed one of his shots back at him.
Carter did score six points on the night but had some help when Danny Brown accidentally tipped a missed shot into the basket for the Chargers. Carter was given credit for the basket.
"I've always been told that if you can't grab a rebound, you should keep tipping the ball," the 6-3 junior Brown said. "That's what I did."
Danny Brown led the way for the Wildcats with a game high 25 points. Hunter Noe tallied 12 points, while Josh Arnold put up eight.
Shawn Conklin and Jay Shively led the way for Santa Fe Trail with nine points apiece.
De Soto hopes to avenge a 21-point humbling Friday when they battle Piper for the second time in a week. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. They then host Lansing on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.