Late game woes cost DHS boy
If only De Soto's boys basketball team was allowed to play just the first half of a basketball game, there'd be smiles all over Wildcat Country.
De Soto would be 7-3, and possibly 8-2 had they been able to find a way to finish games. But instead, the team is just 4-6, following two losses at the Spring Hill Boys Invitational Basketball Tournament last week.
As they did in a loss at Immaculata earlier in the year and in an opening-round 70-62 loss to Spring Hill Jan. 20, the Wildcats were riding high at halftime during the final two games of the Spring Hill Invitational Boys Basketball Tournament. And just like the six-point loss to the Raiders and the eight-point setback to the Broncos, a disappointing second half cost De Soto both games.
"We just didn't execute very well," said De Soto coach Jason Generally. "There just wasn't much intensity out there. If we don't execute offensively and get the guys to play with more intensity on defense, we won't beat anybody."
In its second round 72-38 loss Friday to Sumner Academy , De Soto was upset-minded as it found itself trailing just 27-24 at halftime.
But the Sabres began the third period with a 14-2 run and ended it with a 7-0 streak, putting some distance between themselves and the Wildcats as they headed into the final frame with a 48-29 advantage.
Wildcat guard Danny Brown opened the final period with a jumper, but the Sabres answered with a 10-0 run and held the Wildcats scoreless for nearly four minutes, putting the game out of reach at 58-31 with four minutes left.
Sumner scored its last six points in the final 20 seconds of the game on a jumper, layup and a dunk. Despite connecting on just four-of-15 free throws in the period, the Sabres ripped the cords on 10-of-20 shooting from the floor and forced 11 De Soto turnovers.
The Sabres shot 44 percent from the floor in the second half. The Wildcats, meanwhile, committed 17 turnovers over the same time period and made just four- of-18 shots from the field.
Sumner Academy out-rebounded De Soto 26-19 in the second half, but more importantly snared 15 offensive rebounds during that same timeframe.
The Wildcats lost the services of Danny Brown for the seventh-place game Saturday against Osawatomie, because of an ankle sprain. Without Brown, who scored 43 points in the first two games, the Wildcats entered the game with a big handicap.
"It hurt us offensively to not have him in there," Generally said. "We missed his athleticism and the opportunities he creates when he's out there. He does a great job passing when he penetrates, and we didn't have a lot of buckets because he wasn't in there."
De Soto wanted to exploit a smaller Osawatomie lineup by pounding the ball inside and did so with some success in the first half, as the team bolted out to a 13-10 lead after the first period and a 23-19 halftime advantage.
But the Trojans started to hit from the outside and turned good defense into easy points as they outscored the Wildcats 13-6 to take a 32-29 lead into the final frame.
After Hunter Noe gave the Wildcats a 25-19 lead 30 seconds into the second half, Osawatomie scored the next seven points, taking a 26-25 lead with almost five minutes left in the period.
Noe scored 14 points in the absence of the younger Brown, but he waited for word from his coach before taking aim