Two in a row
Late free throws ice home victory over Lansing
Sharp shooting from the free-throw line helped De Soto overcome a stagnant offense on its way to a big 53-48 win over Lansing.
The win was De Soto's second in a row and has the Wildcats on the right track with just five regular season games left before sub-state tournaments begin.
"We didn't have any offensive flow at all tonight," De Soto coach Jason Generally said following the game. "I'm disappointed with our execution, but happy with the win. That was a very good Lansing team we played out there tonight."
After building a 22-18 halftime lead, the Wildcats relied on sharp shooting from the free-throw line to maintain their lead throughout the second half.
De Soto made all eight of its charity tosses in the third frame of the game and worked the offensive boards for another four points as it kept pace with the Lions.
Lansing, meanwhile, pounded the ball inside the paint where the Lions scored 12 points in the period.
The Wildcats were almost as efficient in the final frame by going 9-of-12 from the charity stripe. But more importantly, De Soto made seven-of-eight free shots in the final one minute, 12 seconds of the game.
"That's a tribute to our seniors," Generally said. "That's an area we struggled at in the past and was one reason we came up short in games. They're a good group of seniors, and they make us tough in the end."
Lansing made De Soto sweat it out in the end. Danny Brown scored on a layup early in the final period when Hunter Noe found him all alone under the basket. The basket gave De Soto its biggest lead of the frame at 40-33 with 5:40 left in the contest.
But Brian Kern warmed up by hitting a pair of treys and a seven-foot jumper to keep his team in the game. His second trey cut the Lion deficit to 46-44 with 1:30 left in the game.
"He stepped up and hit some big threes for them," Generally said.
That's when De Soto connected on four straight free throws by Danny Brown, who scored a team-high 19 points, and Graham Power, putting the Wildcats back up by six.
Brown and his older brother Ryan then combined for 3-of-4 shooting from the free-throw line in the final 30 seconds, sealing the win for the Wildcats.
De Soto bolted out to a 12-9 first period lead by shooting 50 percent from the field in the first period. The Wildcats made four layups in the frame and shot 6-of-12 from the field.
Danny Brown gave De Soto the lead for good when he scored on a layup, making the score 10-9 with 1:17 left in the game. Josh Arnold added to the advantage when he sliced through the Lion defense for an easy basket with 21 seconds left in the opening frame.
Danny Brown and Brady Seaman both warmed up from three-point range in the second period. Seaman's trey with over two minutes left gave the Wildcats a seven-point lead. Lansing connected on three-of-four free throws down the stretch but still trailed 22-18 at halftime.
Both teams shot below 40 percent for the contest and were particularly cool from behind the three-point line. De Soto made 17-of-45 (37.8 percent) shots from the field. The Lions were even cooler yet as they made just 31 percent from the floor.
De Soto out rebounded the Lions 19-12 in the second half and 39-32 for the game. The Wildcats scored six second-chance points, while Lansing was credited for two.
De Soto, 6-8, travels to Perry-Lecompton for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff Friday. The Wildcats will then be home against Bonner Springs for a 7:30 p.m. Tuesday start.
De Soto 53, Lansing 48
De Soto (6-8): Danny Brown 6 6-6 19, Hunter Noe 3 2-4 8, Josh Arnold 4 5-6 13, Graham Power 2 2-2 6, Ryan Brown 1 1-2 3, Brady Seaman 1 0-0 3, Pete Crall 0 1-2 1. Totals 17-45 17-22 53.
Lansing (9-5): Jeff Slater 5 10-16 20, David Kern 1 2-3 4, Alex Riemann 1 0-0 3, Brian Kern 5 0-0 13, Billy Morehead 1 2-4 4, Chris Wagner 2 0-0 4, Matt Warner 0 0-1 0. Totals 15-48 14-24 48.
DHS 12 -- 10 -- 14 -- 17 53
LHS 09 -- 09 -- 13 -- 17 48
Three-point goals: Danny Brown, Brady Seaman; Alex Riemann, Brian Kern 3.